On Monday, June 6, lawyers for Planned Parenthood and three of its patients will present oral arguments before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in a separate case against similar actions taken last year by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Edwards’ signing of the bill comes after the Obama Administration issued guidance to lawmakers in all 50 states once again making it clear that recent political motivated efforts to block Planned Parenthood patients from accessing care through Medicare violates long-standing federal law.
According to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, politicians in at least 24 states have ended or are threatening to end access to care at Planned Parenthood. It noted that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, if patients who rely on public health programs are blocked from coming to Planned Parenthood, up to 650,000 nationwide would face decreased access to health care.
House Bill 606 prohibits entities that perform abortions from receiving pubic funding for any purpose from institutions, boards, commissions, departments, agencies, officials, or employees of the state or its political subdivisions.
Edwards had no choice but to sign the bill into law. The vote for passage in the House was 84-8 and in the Senate it was 33-2, making it veto proof.
The only area legislators to oppose the bill were Reps. Cedric Glover and Sam Jenkins. Reps. Barbara Norton and Alan Seabaugh were absent. All other area House and Senate members voted for it.
Give Vitter a little credit
Regardless of how one feels about Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter, he deserves a little credit.
As embarrassing his run for governor was, where a spotlight was shone on his past indiscretions and he suffered an ignominious defeat, Vitter returned to Washington to do his job as a U.S. Senator.
Even though he is a lame duck because he is not running for another term, he still wields considerable influence because of his seniority and committee positions.
As such, he has worked hard to obtain funding for various Louisiana projects and organizations. In other words, he is earning his paycheck.
A prime example is the $1.2 million grant he recently obtained for the Shreveport Fire Department. He announced that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are awarding the grant for operations and safety improvements.
The grant is a part of the Fiscal Year 2015 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and provides for strengthening the nation’s preparedness and ability to respond to fires and related disasters. Funds will be used for purchasing emergency equipment and training.
Only two fire department in Louisiana received such funding, the other being in St. Tammany Parish.
Vitter said, “It’s important that our local first responders are fully equipped to protect Shreveport homes, businesses, and families, and that starts with having the proper training and equipment at their disposal. This grant will go a long way towards strengthening the resources our firefighters have for protecting our communities.”