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House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood

February 18, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

The Republican House of Representatives took their latest shot at limiting access to abortions today by passing an amendment to their 2011 government funding bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. There amendment has some big problems, however, and it’s very unlikely that it will become law.

First, the Senate, which is still controlled by Democrats, will never agree to this. Some Republicans — namely Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME] and Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] — have even said that they would oppose an attempt to block Planned Parenthood from receiving funding. Senate Democrats are confident they have the votes to block this.

The second problem is that it is clearly unconstitutional. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids Congress from passing bills of attainder, i.e. laws that punish a specific individual or group that have not been given a judicial trial. The Republicans passed a similar bill of attainder last year against the community organizing group ACORN that resulted in the federal government being sued. The Republicans may want to repeat that, but nobody else does.

One more thing to be clear on here. Planned Parenthood does not receive federal funding for abortion services. That has been against the law since 1974. They currently receive funds for other health care services, like cancer screening and family planning. But abortion services are subsidized exclusively by private donors. This amendment is about killing Planned Parenthood, not about blocking public abortion funding. That’s already blocked.

By the way, the full roll call details are not yet available, but according to Politico, “The vote was 240-185 with 11 Democrats voting for the amendment, and seven Republicans voting against. One member voted present.”

UPDATE: The full roll call has finally been published and can be viewed here.

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Displaying 61-68 of 68 total comments.

fakk2 02/18/2011 4:33pm
in reply to fakk2 Feb 18, 2011 4:28pm

But let me be clear. This amendment would not cut funding for health services. It would simply block those funds already in the bill from subsidizing America’s largest abortion provider.

fakk2 02/18/2011 4:29pm

In 2002, Planned Parenthood was found civilly liable in Arizona for failure to report statutory rape. Since that time, Planned Parenthood affiliates have been found violating reporting laws in Indiana and California, and found to have violated statutory reporting laws in places like Ohio. Recently in California, Washington, New Jersey and New York, Planned Parenthood clinics have been accused of fraudulent accounting over billing practices. And, of course, last week as the Nation watched in horror, new undercover videos were released that showed Planned Parenthood employees in multiple States apparently willing to aid human sex traffickers by coaching them on how to falsify documents to secure secret abortions for underage prostitutes. As the father of two teenage daughters, there are not words strong enough to portray my contempt for this pattern of fraud and abuse against young women by Planned Parenthood, and that’s what brings us here today.

fakk2 02/18/2011 4:28pm

The reality is that Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from Federal funding sources other than title X, and our effort tonight is specifically to focus on denying any and all Federal funding to the largest abortion provider in America.

itsmillertime 02/18/2011 3:01pm
in reply to KyleAbbott Feb 18, 2011 12:46pm

“invoke the Constitution when it benefits them”, funny that’s exactly what we think about Republicans.

Did what with Health Care last year?

With your “logic” we have commit murder through the death penalty, kill innocent men, women and children in Afghanistan, Iraq, support crooked cops, politicians, etc. Sounds like we’ve committed multiple federal crimes to me!

Yes pretty ridiculous comment isn’t it.

dbroncos 02/18/2011 2:36pm

Remember how free condoms on college campuses and stuff like that use to be so controversial? How is giving subsidized birth control any different? Newsflash the free condoms that i can get from my college are subsidized with your and mine tax dollars.

(To the conservative users, note that when i say free i studied economics, there is no such thing as “free”). Your and mine tax dollars go to preventing me from having a child before i am ready and then drain resources of society should i need aid before the time comes.

It goes to the theory of “an ounce of prevention”.

ForAmerica 02/18/2011 1:35pm

I love how conservatives invoke the constitution when it benefits them. They don’t want the government interfering in our lives… unless you’re a woman. They don’t want to pay for abortions or the children of low income women… so they make it so there will be more of both. They complain about horrid back alley abortion clinics… so they make it so there will be more of those, too. In the mean time they’re all for tax cuts for the rich and famous, spending wasted money on birther lawsuits, and funding their tea parties.

aliceinreality 02/18/2011 12:50pm

Glad to hear that it won’t be getting far. I’ve depended on PP for healthcare when I couldn’t find work, and I’ve been able to refer my sister to them for free birth control while she’s in college and can’t afford her co-pays.

PP saves lives and saves the government money.

KyleAbbott 02/18/2011 12:46pm

I love how liberals only invoke the Constitution when it benefits them. Congress did the exact same thing with health care last year! Dems were all for punishing those “evil” health insurance companies. And of course Planned Parenthood uses Federal money for abortion! Instead of paying for the actual procedure, they pay for the room, the lights, the water, the doctors, the surgical equipment and anesthesia. Sounds like ILLEGAL funding to me!

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