On Friday, a Montana House budget panel voted 4-2 to cut almost five million dollars from the state health budget. The five million comes from federal family planning funds – specifically, Title X.
Title X pays for life saving health screenings for low-income women and girls across Montana. Health care they would otherwise not receive. Furthermore, it is illegal for Title X funds to be used for abortions, so there should be absolutely zero controversy on this issue. However, Republicans, led by Senator Jason Priest, are on a mission to cripple and kill Planned Parenthood of Montana and they view the elimination of Title X funding as one of their most effective weapons in their vicious crusade.
The House panel twice rejected the proposal to gut federal funding from the state health budget, but with intense pressure from Senator Jason Priest, the motion was voted on for a third time and passed on Friday.
Senator Priest has a fiercely pro-life voting record and does not think Montana women are responsible enough to make decisions regarding their own bodies.
However, gutting Title X funding from the state budget goes a step further. Senator Priest and his extremist allies in the legislature have put the well being of thousands of Montana women and girls in danger. Low-income Montanans could now lack access to essential, life saving healthcare services like mammograms.