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Mich. Panel Mulls Defunding Abortion Providers

January 29, 2016 — The Michigan House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on a measure (HB 4145) that would prohibit state money from being used to fund organizations that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood, the Detroit Free Press reports.

According to the Free Press, language that blocks abortion providers from receiving state funds has been included in several previous Michigan budgets.

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The bill, proposed by state Rep. Thomas Hooker (R), has not received a vote. Rep. Al Pscholka (R), who chairs the committee, said the panel will continue to consider the measure but did not indicate whether a vote will be held.

Lori Carpentier, CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, condemned the bill. She said Hooker "wants to use any means necessary to put up barriers between the people of Michigan and the comprehensive and reproductive health services we provide, and ultimately close the doors of Planned Parenthood centers."

Cayley Winters, a student at Michigan State University, also testified at the hearing against the bill. "Because of Planned Parenthood, I've been able to get affordable and accessible birth control," she said, adding, "If you shut down those same clinics, you're doing a great injustice to people like myself, and you'll have more unintended pregnancies" (Gray, Detroit Free Press, 1/27).