Senate to Restrict Abortion Funding for IHS

Emily Douglas

The Senate today passed a bill that would severely limit funding for abortion within the Indian Health Services (IHS). But the ban, introduced by anti-choice Sen. David Vitter, would result in no change to current IHS policy.

The Senate today passed a bill that would severely limit funding for abortion within the Indian Health Services (IHS). But the ban, introduced by anti-choice Sen. David Vitter, would result in no change to current IHS policy. Like Medicaid, IHS funding for abortion is governed by the Hyde Amendment, which permits federal funding only in cases of threat to the woman's health, rape or incest.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said, "Sen. Vitter's amendment is simply a political tactic that will do nothing to improve health care for Native Americans, nor reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. If Sen. Vitter is serious about preventing unintended pregnancies, he would support prevention legislation that invests in family planning programs."

Planned Parenthood also points out that having duplicative law could cause confusion if the Hyde Amendment or other abortion law were to be amended or to change.

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