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Dannenfelser in WaPo: How Planned Parenthood Lost its "political Teflon"
This post originally appeared online at The Washington Post on April 16, 2012.
Interview: How Planned Parenthood lost its ‘political Teflon’
By Sarah Kliff
At this time last year, Congress was locked in a fierce battle over Planned Parenthood’s funding. The group received $657 million in federal funds between 2002 and 2009 for women’s health services that do not include abortion. In 2011, that funding became one of the last sticking points in a fight over the nation’s budget. It was the first year that both chambers of Congress voted on legislation that would strip Planned Parenthood of its federal dollars. That bill was ultimately defeated in the Senate on April 15, 2011.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the Susan B. Anthony List, one of the country’s largest pro-life organizations. She’s worked in pro-life politics for decades, serving as director of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus in the early 1990s, and has never before seen such success in challenging Planned Parenthood. “Not one legislator would touch family planning funding then, no matter how pro-life you were,” she said. “You could never potentially be perceived as taking on family planning.”
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