CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, today announced he has sent a letter to the state Department of Health and Human Resources asking the agency to detail any and all state funding it has provided to Planned Parenthood operations.
The national Planned Parenthood organization has received significant attention and criticism in recent weeks after videos have surfaced indicating that the organization may have harvested and sold body parts of aborted babies. While there is no specific line item in the state budget for Planned Parenthood, approximately $800,000 may have been provided to the organization or a state affiliate through the DHHR’s Family Planning Program. It does not appear as if any of this money was used to provide abortion services.
Speaker Armstead would like DHHR officials to provide state legislators with more information concerning any payments made to Planned Parenthood, and to determine whether such funds could be diverted to other organizations and healthcare providers.
“In the aftermath of the recent videos and disclosures about Planned Parenthood, members of the House of Delegates have raised concerns about whether state funds are being provided to this organization,” Speaker Armstead said.
“This request to DHHR is an effort to determine whether state funds are, in fact, being provided to Planned Parenthood and, if so, how we can ensure that no state funding is provided to that organization,” Speaker Armstead said. “This is not an effort to eliminate state funding for necessary, non-abortion related healthcare services which assist women across our state. Rather, it is an attempt to make sure that taxpayer funding is instead provided to other healthcare providers that retain the trust and confidence of our citizens.”
The letter was sent to Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen Bowling. A copy of the letter can be read here.