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Dems Back Off On Family Planning Provision

(AP)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew the ire of the conservative-leaning Drudge Report Sunday when she defended House Democrats' efforts to include family planning funding for low income Americans in the planned $825 million stimulus package.

On ABC's This Week, Pelosi suggested that expanding family planning services will reduce government costs, presumably because there would be fewer children for the government to care for.

Contraception, Pelosi said, "will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

The comment prompted an incredulous Drudge to write that the House Speaker "seemed to imply babies are somehow a burden on the treasury."

Now it looks like House Democrats are backing off that effort: The Associated Press is reporting that they are "likely to jettison" plans to include the family planning funding, "following a personal appeal from President Barack Obama at a time the administration is courting Republican critics of the legislation."

A final decision on whether to kill the provision is expected today, the same day that the president meets with House and Senate Republicans to seek input on the stimulus package.

Republicans have been harshly critical of the plan.

"How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives how does that stimulate the economy?" House Republican Leader John Boehner said last week, according to the AP.

The proposed provision would make it so that states would no longer need federal permission to offer contraception and other family planning services under Medicaid.

Even if it's removed, however, House Republicans appear poised to oppose the stimulus plan.

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