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Mitt Romney: government should cut off funding to Planned Parenthood

In an interview on the Scott Hennen Show yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney weighed in on the backlash and reversal of the Susan G. Komen Foundation's decision to halt their funding to Planned Parenthood.

Hennen: “Last thing I wanted to ask you about, and there’s a strong pro-life community in Minnesota and a lot of talk about the power of the social conservative vote here (same in North Dakota, by the way, which will come a little later), but we’ve watched with great interest the last couple days the Planned Parenthood supporters just bully the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation folks and ultimately they have given a slightly different decision saying they’re going to allow Planned Parenthood to apply for future grants…should Susan G. Komen’s Plan for the Cure in your view continue to fund – in any way – Planned Parenthood?”

Romney: “I don’t think so. I also feel that the government should cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Look, the idea that we’re subsidizing an institution which is providing abortion, in my view, is wrong. Planned Parenthood ought to stand on their own feet, and should not get government subsidy. I am a pro-life individual – I was a pro-life governor (served as a pro-life governor) – I’m a pro-life candidate. I simply do not want to participate in anything that takes away the life of an unborn child.”

Romney has been referencing his pro-life stance of late,  perhaps to try and ease the concerns of social conservatives mindful of his past positions on the issue, in the home-stretch of the Republican primary race.

Despite being widely associated with the pro-choice movement, Planned Parenthood provides STD Testing and treatment as well as cancer screening and prevention, in addition to abortion and contraception services. Planned Parenthood claims that three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services. That three percent accounts for nearly 330,000 abortion procedures per year, a number CNS compares to the population of Cincinnati (333,000) and averaging about one abortion every 95 seconds.

Planned Parenthood receives over $363 million in "Government Grants and Contracts" a year, but by law, cannot use that money directly "in programs where abortion is a method of family planning." Opponents argue that funding other Planned Parenthood sources "frees up" funds for abortion.

The Susan G. Komen foundation had originally decided to defund Planned Parenthood because the organization was under government investigation, an investigation led by House Republicans requesting information to ensure that federal funds are kept separate from abortion services. 

Romney has recently made comments condemning regulations requiring women's contraceptive services to be covered by insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act.

"Think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views; this is a violation of conscience," Romney said at a Denver suburb yesterday. "We must have a president who is willing to protect America's first right, our right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience."

Romney joined other Republican presidential candidates last April in supporting the Pence amendment, which bans Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.

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