Planned Parenthood funding enters Connecticut’s budget debate

One month after Congressional House Republicans attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, that same debate has come to Connecticut’s State Capitol as the democratic-controlled Senate moves forward with adopting a final budget.

State Sen. Leonard Suzio, R-Meriden, is planning to introduce an amendment that eliminates all $1 million the state spends on Planned Parenthood each year.

“I look forward to defeating this,” said Sen. Terry Gerratana, D-New Britain, chairwoman of Public Health Committee.

House Majority Leader J. Brendan Sharkey said it is “disappointing” that an ideological-driven debate on women reproductive rights is being included in a budget debate.

“This is not the place or the time to insert this extreme” proposal in the budget, he said. “I am sure both houses will be extremely rejecting this amendment.”

The State’s 18 Planned Parenthood across the state serve almost 65,000 women a year and have a total budget of $25 million. The centers provide patients with birth control, cancer screening and other medical services and, for fewer than 10 percent of visits, abortions.

“We would have to significantly reduce services,” said Judy Tabar, president of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

Republican Minority leader Sen. John McKinney said Monday afternoon the proposal to slash Planned Parenthood’s state support is not a Republican amendment, but stopped short as to whether he supports the proposal.