Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Senate Republicans Oppose Family Planning Pilot Program

The Senate gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that orders the state to set an income threshold for participation in the state's family planning pilot program, but nearly all of the Republicans in the chamber voted "no."

SB 003, sponsored by Sen. Betty Boyd, D-Lakewood, passed 23-11, with only Sens. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, and Ken Kester, R-Las Animas, joining the majority Democrats in support.

The bill would allow the executive branch to set a percentage of poverty level as the amount of income needed to participate in the Medicaid-based program.

Republicans on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee had earlier opposed then bill, indicating concern that the funds could be used to pay for abortions.

The program does not cover abortion-related costs. Both the Colorado constitution and federal law preclude use of Medicaid money to pay for abortions.