Phil Bredesen said he had no interest in halting federal funds for Planned Parenthood in a video captured by the Tennessee Republican Party, Politico says. The publication says the topic could become a campaign factor.
Watch the video:
The Democratic former governor, who is running for the U.S. Senate, told a GOP tracker that he’s “fine” with federal funds going to Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services.
A tracker works for a party or other entity to capture candidates’ gaffes on video.
About abortion services, Bredesen said: “I don’t have a problem with them doing it.”
He called himself “‘pro-choice,’ but emphasized again that federal funds aren’t used for that purpose. “I’m not the least bit interested in defunding Planned Parenthood,” Bredesen said.
When Bredesen was governor, Planned Parenthood received state funds that were prohibited from being used for abortion services, Politico said.
In a press release, the Tennessee Republican Party pointed out a majority of Tennesseans hold pro-life views.
The Daily Caller has called out Bredesen’s waffling on abortion, saying he has “some skeletons in his closet concerning ties to Planned Parenthood and advocating for the public to fund Down syndrome abortions.”
The Daily Caller quotes Bredesen as telling The Nashville Banner in 1987, “I am opposed to federal funding of it [abortion], except in the case of danger to the life or medical health of the mother, rape, incest, or children with substantial development deformities such as Down’s syndrome.”
Bredesen’s position is a contrast with his opponent, U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), who is “staunchly anti-abortion and an ardent opponent of Planned Parenthood,” Politico said.
Blackburn has voiced support for embattled Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Bredesen has said he needs more time to study the months-long nomination, The Tennessee Star reported. The Democratic candidate, who has admitted he is pro-abortion, also said Kavanaugh’s pro-life stance would not matter to him if he could vote. He told reporters that Kavanaugh’s position on abortion is “certainly not as important to me as it is for some Democrats.”
The GOP video shows Republicans view the issue as a potent attack against the Democrat, Politico says.
“A majority of Tennesseans believe life should be protected at every stage, and the fact that Phil does not shows just how out of touch he is,” said Scott Golden, the Tennessee Republican Party chairman.
What Bredesen failed to mention to the GOP tracker is that government funding of Planned Parenthood subsidizes abortions even if the money supposedly is not directly paying for abortions.
Right to Life of Michigan’s website says this:
Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million dollars in taxpayer funding every year. Much of their taxpayer money comes through Medicaid, which is jointly funded by federal and state taxpayers. Currently 17 states add their own state taxpayer dollars to pay directly for abortions. They also receive many taxpayer dollars through the Title X family planning program.
There is zero meaningful separation of staff, facilities, and operational costs at Planned Parenthood clinics between government-funded services and abortions. Federal contract rules allow taxpayer funds to pay staff salaries, supplies, and facility costs on a ‘pro-rated’ basis. It is merely an accounting gimmick; tax dollars literally pay the rent and energy costs to keep abortion clinics running and funds staff that help perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood claims abortion is inseparable from their mission, and with half of their budget coming from taxpayers, it’s safe to say our tax dollars are inseparable from their abortion mission. Recent annual reports show Planned Parenthood’s dramatic increase in taxpayer funding has led them to expand abortion while cutting clients and other health services.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.