Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin defended his vote against defunding Planned Parenthood by claiming that no tax dollars “go to abortions for Planned Parenthood.”
Manchin, who claims to be pro-life, was speaking Monday to MetroNews’s TalkLine when he was asked how he defended voting against Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. (RELATED: Manchin Joins Red State Dems To Keep Funding For Planned Parenthood)
“First there’s not a penny in public dollars that go [sic] to abortions for Planned Parenthood. I’ve checked it inside and out with the Hyde Amendment. It can’t happen. It’s against the law. Now, we have one clinic in the state of West Virginia — Vienna — that provides health care — preventative health care for women and mostly young females,” Manchin said.
But Manchin’s statement is technically correct, but misleading.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America received $543.7 million in government funding and grants in 2017, according to its annual report. The federation then supports 56 Planned Parenthood affiliates, which reported 321,384 clinical interactions with patients for “abortion services.”
Manchin was asked if it was true that “if you’re subsidizing Planned Parenthood, then, in a sense, you’re subsidizing the abortion procedure because — because you’re propping them up.”
Manchin had the following response:
“We’re not propping them up. The money they get — I don’t know where the money gets — and people that support abortions are thinking that they should have abortions, and I’ve always said in case of rape, incest and life of [the] mother should be the exclusions, but with that, there’s not one penny. Rand Paul’s saying that he is wrong.”
Manchin insists West Virginia voters will understand that he can vote to support Planned Parenthood and be pro-life:
“I understand the political atmosphere we have, and its just 100 percent, you’re 100 percent with whoever, whether it be Right to Life, lot of my friends there, I still feel very strongly, and I’m right to life and they know it…”
Manchin is facing Republican challenger Patrick Morrisey in the midterm elections.