Abortion

The House Of Representatives Just Voted To Defund Planned Parenthood

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In further evidence that we live in the darkest possible timeline, the U.S. House of Representatives just voted 241-187 to defund Planned Parenthood for a year to investigate alleged wrongdoing. This is, of course, thanks to the videos distributed by anti-choice activists that claim to show Planned Parenthood profiting from the sale of fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood maintains that they have not been selling fetal body parts, they have merely been donating the fetus tissue to medical research, which is both legal and scientifically important. The conversations in the videos allegedly concern efforts to recoup shipping costs, which is also legal.

The vote predictably followed party lines, with Republican representatives voting to defund. Two Democrat representatives voted in favor of defunding as well. The Democrats who voted in favor of the bill are Representatives Dan Lipinski of Illinois and Collin Peterson of Minnesota. The Associated Press points out that the bill would have to pass in the Senate to be enacted, and that is very unlikely. Senate Democrats have enough votes to prevent the bill from passing, and President Obama said he would veto it if by some chance it did get through.

Planned Parenthood gets about $450 million a year from federal payments, and the vast majority of that comes from Medicaid reimbursements for treating low-income women with essential care like cancer screanings, contraception, and STD tests, treatment, and screenings. Federal funds are not used for abortions, but certain elected officials seem to have a difficult time understanding that.

The Republican-sponsored bill that nobody expects to pass would redistribute Planned Parenthood’s federal funding to community health centers, which Democratic representatives say would result in many American women–especially low-income American women–losing access to much-needed healthcare.

“Some of their members are willing to risk women’s lives just to score political points,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. “Enough is enough.”