Ad criticizes Tipton vote on Planned Parenthood

Congressman’s vote unlikely to have impacted Colorado

A television ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attacks Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Enlargephoto

Credit: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committe

A television ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attacks Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for a vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

A television ad by the Democratic Congressional Committee criticizes Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, claiming that his vote to defund Planned Parenthood would have closed women’s health centers. However, the vote would likely not have affected Colorado.

The “Tipton Playing Politics” ad refers to an amendment tacked onto a spending resolution in 2011, which proposed defunding Planned Parenthood. Tipton voted yes, which passed in the House, but did not muster the Senate.

But a cut to funding of Planned Parenthood would probably not affect its direct financing greatly in Colorado, where the organization already does not receive any public funding from the federal, state or local government. Planned Parenthood in Colorado does not receive Title X funds, which are part of a federal grant program that provides people with family planning services like contraception. There are about 62 other family planning services in Colorado that receive Title X funds, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website.

“While not all Planned Parenthoods fit into that type of (Title X) structure, most of them did. Obviously this was an attempt to harm our organization on a national level,” said Monica McCafferty, director of marketing and communications for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

McCafferty said PPRM could not speculate how their facilities in Colorado would have been affected if the bill had passed.

“Knowing that it would have prevented us from seeing Medicaid patients, taking away the funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings, we definitely would have seen patient numbers drop,” McCafferty said.

The Republican amendment would have also eliminated money for voluntary family planning projects. This included $360 million in cuts to the federal assistance Planned Parenthood receives through Medicaid, Maternal and Child Health block grants. This means that even in Colorado, a person could not use Medicaid to pay for Planned Parenthood services.

Though Republicans intended for the amendment to be a pro-life statement, the cuts would not have prevented abortions. Under the 1976 Hyde Amendment, the federal government is banned from funding abortions. Conservative critics argue that federal funding for Planned Parenthood’s other services frees up money for abortions.

Leigh Giangreco is an intern for The Durango Herald and a student at American University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at lgiangreco@durangoherald.com.