Planned Parenthood under fire at the Capitol

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Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 4:58pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 5:19pm

Thousands of people in Louisiana use Planned Parenthood’s services every year. A group of lawmakers are pushing a resolution to prevent state funds from being used for those services.

Today, advocates on both side of the issue defended their positions.

New Orleans-native Shawna Kimbrough maintains that one trip to Planned Parenthood as a teen changed her life forever.

"I was actually horrified to find out that at approximately 8 weeks it was not this blob of tissue, or whatever lie I had been told, but I could see his little hands and feet," described Kimbrough, accounting the abortion she chose to have at a clinic when she was 16.

That's why she and others are hoping to see all the state money the health care provider gets, taken away.

"Louisiana is giving, at this point, about a million dollars in state and federal money, to an organization that provides abortion," explained Dorinda Bordlee with the Louisiana Right to Life.

Planned Parenthood officials say none of that money goes to fund abortions. It is illegal under federal law to use state or federal money for abortion services. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Julie Mickleberry says those funds go for things like testing and preventative care for low-income patients.

"They (patients) come in because they trust us to provide quality healthcare. What just happened in that hearing is politically motivated," Mickleberry explained.

Though the resolution doesn't carry the weight of law, it would strongly recommend the defunding Planned Parenthood. A big mistake according to those working within the organization.

"What would happen if they do suspend funds is that people would not receive healthcare that they need," Mickelberry said.

Even though de-funding won't take place without several state agencies blessings, those like Shawna Kimbrough say the resolution is a victory.

"Any time abbey Johnson, or myself speaks truth, it's always a win," Kimbrough said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Hospitals released this statement to NBC33 concerning the matter:

"We will review the resolution in its final form, and will determine if any additional measures are necessary in order to ensure that DHH licensed facilities comply with all state laws."

An identical resolution already passed through the Senate.

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