Lawmakers pass measure to limit money to Planned Parenthood
BATON ROUGE- A committee of lawmakers passed a measure that would block some government money from going to Planned Parenthood. It now heads to the full House.
The measure sparked emotional testimony from people supporting. It comes as Planned Parenthood is the subject of two federal lawsuits over alleged unscrupulous billing practices.
Shawna Kimbrough was among those who testified before the committee of lawmakers. She was 16 when she had an abortion. It's a decision that she'll never forget.
"I had this sinking feeling," Kimbrough said. "I was horrified to find out at 6-8 weeks, it was not a blob of tissue like the lie I had been sold, but I could see his hands and feet."
A former employee of Planned Parenthood also spoke out about the organization. Abby Johnson claims she witnessed fraudulent billing practices, where Planned Parenthood over billed the government for procedures.
"We were instructed by our C.O.O. and told to turn every phone call and client visit into a revenue generating visit, and there's only one way to do that at a Planned Parenthood clinic, when a woman comes in and that is to sell her an abortion," Johnson said.
During her time at Planned Parenthood, Johnson claims she was coaxed into convincing women to have abortions. She said she was so good at it, she was honored as the employee of the year.
Planned Parenthood said their organization provides a service for the community that many may not have access to.
"They come in because they trust us to provide quality health care," Julie Mickelberry said. "What just happened in that hearing is politically motivated."
Tomorrow, a 7,000 square foot Planned Parenthood facility will break ground in New Orleans. It is concerning for pro-life advocates because it will eventually be the first Planned Parenthood facility where abortions will be performed. But there could be some hiccups ahead, if some lawmakers at the Capitol get their way.
"I'm concerned they're not going to have any other place to go, but I know Planned Parenthood will be here not matter what," Mickelberry said. "We are a provider addressing the community's needs."
Two years ago, Planned Parenthood performed 334,000 abortions across the United States.