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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 1-30 of 68 total comments.

  • 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!

  • Comm_reply
    itsmillertime 02/18/2011 3:01pm

    “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.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/18/2011 8:14pm

    anesthesia is paid for by the patient. So is the doctor.

    To go along with the commenter about your logic, if a school has a shooting, that means the school paid for the murders! it was their building after all, their teachers, their lights…

    and like the other guy said Republicans are using the Constitution RIGHT NOW to attack the health care law, they also made it so laws passed must have Constitution reference on legality.
    So you’re seriously complaining about liberals using the Constitution when republicans made it the rules to follow it when making laws?

    If this was an attack on that other comment that used a similar first line, that guy was right, many times conservatives quote the Constitution to stop laws but will avoid it when they want to push their views, they take the good and refuse the bad.

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 02/20/2011 10:19am

    It’s like a college kid asking his uncle to pay for his trip to Vegas, via having his uncle pay for a new transmission for his broken car, He asks his uncle for money to fix his car rather then canceling his trip so in turn his uncle paid for the vacation but it looks like he paid to fix his nephews car.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/20/2011 1:09pm

    That doesn’t pay for the gas… and his car will be working for years afterwards. better than buying a new car later on though when it completely dies.

    plus vagas is for entrainment, not health care like pap smears and cancer testing.

  • Comm_reply
    Juuniper 02/25/2011 10:29am

    The cuts would eliminate funding for birth control, cancer screenings, and HIV testing, among other things.

    According to Tracey Brooks, president of Family Planning Advocates of New York State, federal funding does not go to support Planned Parenthood’s abortion services.

    Get your facts straight.

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    M4Finny 02/19/2011 3:58pm

    Yeah, they save lives by killing babies. Apparently, the abortion doctor in Philadelphia who killed little live babies on counter tops with scissors and then kept their severed little feet in jars is your hero. PP is a murder mill and my tax dollars should not support it. You want your little sis to go and get free pills so she can sleep around? Good for you, but you can subsidize that nonsense, not the rest of us.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/19/2011 6:48pm

    Asshole alert.

  • Comm_reply
    AlexisML 02/24/2011 3:20pm

    1) Sleep “around”? Maybe she’s only sleeping with “one” person, but doesn’t want to have children. Are opposed to recreational sex?
    2)“Murder mill”? Planned Parenthood spends 3% of it’s budget on abortion. That hardly makes a “mill” for abortion.
    3)Are you a vegan? Because if you aren’t, that would make you’re anti-abortion stance hypocritical.
    4)By your logic no one’s tax dollars should pay for anyone’s self-induced health problems? Got the flu? Well, maybe you should’ve washed your hands more often? Got high cholestreol? Well, maybe you shouldn’t have eaten so much fatty foods? Got, diabetes? Maybe, you shouldn’t have eaten so much carbs.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/24/2011 3:42pm

    What’s wrong with not having anyone’s taxes pay for health problems? We’ve only had that 100 years or less, it’s not like we’ve always lived that way. It used to be where you needed something, medical or not, you had to find a way to pay for it or just go without. What’s wrong with wanting to get back to that if it means we’re not burying ourselves in debt and entitlements?

  • Comm_reply
    AlexisML 02/25/2011 2:07am

    The point of civilization is to improve the quality of life. “What’s wrong with not having anyones taxes pay for health problems?” The same thing that’s wrong with not having anyone’s taxes pay for anything else… infrastructure, education, police departments…“It’s not like we always lived that way”? That’s your justification? Well, in that case we may as well reject all forms of technology and be hunting-gathering nomads.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/26/2011 10:05am


    How can you extrapolate 1 comment about health care to a “new world order”? Isn’t that a little bit out of context?

    To pay for infrastructure & police departments, it wouldn’t take much in taxes. Since the states have the police powers and the federal government has interstate commerce powers, I can understand these 2 taxes. But education? C’mon, I think we both know education spending hasn’t increased the quality of education over the last 40 years. If we were showing massive improvement, then fine, tax us because the system works. But the system doesn’t work and it shows.

    How about this for justification: It’s bad spending. EPA, FDA, Dept of Ed, etc. They’re useless. They hurt more than they help, and they should be shut down. I know it’s a simplistic view, but I only have 1k chars.

  • 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.

  • 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”.

  • Comm_reply
    REPVET 02/23/2011 7:59am

    if nothing is free yet condoms are offered with no out of pocket direct expense to those who wish to receive them, why should my taxes be used to fund abortions of those who chose not to take the proper precautions. while getting volunteer hours as a pre med student, i accepted and position at a PP during my time there more than once, i received a file on a few young women who were there for another abortion. one had even been there 5x in only 2 years. even as a true conservative i believe that abortion does have its place in our society. however, the availability of these services are abundant and are unfortunately being used as the easy solution instead of condoms or birth control or abstinence. which is completely wrong.

    and many places provide free condoms including most major universities in which the condoms are actually payed for by the students health fee that is included in their tuition

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/24/2011 3:47pm

    If she had 5 abortions, woudln’t that cause some health problems? Regardless, that’s exactly why I don’t want federal funds covering elective abortions. Sure, it’s only a minority that have multiple abortions because they could, but if denying the minority means denying the majority who only have 1 or 2 elective abortions throughout their life, then that’s the cost in my opinion.

    *Elective abortions in this regard ARE NOT abortions that are paid for under the Hyde Amendment.

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/18/2011 4:33pm

    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.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/18/2011 4:34pm

    Wow, it’s being edited SO much, if you want to find the text that evidently isn’t postable go to:, search for bills/amendments for Mike Pence, and go to page H1156.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/18/2011 11:11pm

    actually the amendment blocks 100% of all fund to PP. 100% of those funds go to non-abortion services.

    The fact actually is you are cutting only health services, nothing more cause the money is NOT going anywhere else, Title X is being defunded entirely.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/19/2011 2:16pm

    Wait, which funds are you talking about? They make over $1 a year in donations, state, local, and federal funds, so I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/19/2011 2:17pm

    haha! I meant to say: They make over $1 billion a year in donations, state, local, and federal funds

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/19/2011 7:52pm

    yes, it makes up 1 billion, 1/3 is federal(state/local level varies in what they add), 1/3 donations and 1/3 money from services.

    the amendment blocks funds from going to PP but also ends basically all Title X funding, the money taken away from PP is not going anywhere.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 4:39am

    Ok, so if 1/3 of the money PP has is being taken away, and not being spent, how is that a bad thing? Let’s face it, nothing in the amendment says, “put this money into a fund and not touch it”. So, the money being taken will just not be taken out for those purposes, but will be taken out for other purposes. Hopefully it’ll be spent to pay our interest on our debt, or something else that makes sense, and not for something like the F-35 engine or whatever that thing was.

    Also, if they’re getting $300 million from donations, as you have suggested, then maybe it’s time for people who want PP to stay open to donate double what they are? That’d give them $600 million in donations. Yes, it’s almost half of what they’re getting now, but even if all Title X funding is taken away, then they’re still at 60% what they were before this bill. Looks like they’ll have to get creative like all other businesses and start doing more with less.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 4:39am

    *Side note, where are all those millionaires who said to raise taxes on them? They could combine their wealth to give $1 billion to PP, and then we wouldn’t even HAVE to have a debate, because they wouldn’t lose any money.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/20/2011 1:40pm

    “Hopefully it’ll be spent to pay our interest on our debt”
    well, that’s kind of the point in their bill.

    you can not rely on donations to fix sudden change, there is nothing i have heard of that doubling what needs to be donated(in anything at this amount) has ever worked.

    millionaires already give alot but 300million to fill from an already 300mil is ALOT, even to billionaires, and this is for every year. and those donating are normally not rich.

    the whole point of going with donations and grants is to lower service costs, if you go to taking out the loss of funding on patients, you lose the whole point of existing. they are not a business, they are a NGO. they use the money they get, they don’t keep it as profit

    they cant shrink cuase they would get less donations(less people affected, less people want to donate), then they have to shrink more and repeat, then just die because without funding to lower service costs and not raising price to keep stable, they WILL die.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 8:09pm

    So, you’re saying 4 things:

    1.) You can’t rely on people to give a damn about something they care about

    2.) Americans want higher taxes on the rich, but not for them to freely give their money because it’s not practical

    3.) The patients are the ones who will be footing the bill

    4.) It’s a business that needs a bailout, thus the government should keep funding it

    Wow, where do I begin. I’ll take them in order and see if they make sense (over a few postings):

    1.) Assuming 0.02% of all females in America (~36,265) contributed $2,400+ to PP instead of a political organization, I think PP would survive, considering it’d constitute $260.1 million. Including males and females (~141,141 individuals) it’d come to $1.0821 billion. And that’s just if they gave to PP what they gave to elections in 2009-2010
    [] and [] (I love that site)

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 8:38pm

    2.) Let’s assume example 1 falls short by half. Well, if we were a democracy, we could make the top 25 congressmen make up the difference, and only half to sacrifice 15% of their total combined net worth every year. After all, they’re only worth a minimum of $1+ billion in a bad year, and that’s just 25 Americans. Considering Bill Gates of Jimmy Buffett could provide $300 million for 100 years at a $30 billion net worth, this doesn’t seem TOO much of a stretch.

    3.) According to PP’s own website’s records, it had a surplus of $23.7 million for FY ended June 30, 2008. Also, the same PDF file says 70% of their revenue came from private donations, so we’re really only talking about making up 30%, which is VERY easy to do if people wanted to give to PP the same way they do to politics.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 8:41pm

    4.) Since they are a 501©(3), it can die. I don’t care either way if it does or doesn’t, but nothing says a non-profit has to stay afloat. If it’s as important as everyone thinks, and as useful and efficient as everyone hopes, then I have full faith it will stay alive just like all the other 501’s in America who don’t use federal funds to do good works.

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