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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.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 9:59am


    I agree that we should be a republic which is presided by a rule of law (unemotional) and not a democracy, which is presided by mob rule (emotional), but isn’t everyone using an emotional argument?

    Here’s the facts:

    1.) $300 million in federal money
    2.) $1 billion total revenue
    3.) $63.4 million profit for 2008 – 2009 for PP
    4.) Abortions = 3% of all services provided, although they are the largest provider of abortions

    POLLS (taken through May 3-6 2010):
    5.) 54% of respondents believe abortion should be: Legal only under certain circumstances
    6.) 37% of respondents believe abortion should be: Legal only in a few circumstances
    7.) 47% of respondents consider themselves to be Pro-Life
    8.) 46% of respondents consider themselves to be Pro-Life when asked as a standalone question
    9.) 52% of respondents do not want to overturn Roe v Wade
    *The rest of the responses are on the website

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 10:01am

    Now, not all polls are equal, but Gallup is used by both sides. So I think it’s one of the more impartial polls. This would suggest a majority of Americans do not want abortions except for “limited circumstances”, and since PP is the largest single provider, taking away federal funds and Title X would 1.) Still keep abortions legal, 2.) Comply with voters who don’t want to fund abortions, 3.) Keep a company open that has a large support base by having it rely on more donations instead of federal funds, especially with a profit it has yearly.

    *Other than the FOX news poll, this is the first returned poll when searching for “abortion poll” on Google: []

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/20/2011 3:32pm

    for your #2
    no federal money goes to abortion under the hyde amendment from the 70s, so this isn’t complying, it’s really not affecting

    #3: as i said in another post, donations would need to double and most donated are middle and lower class, most can hardly donate as is. there really is not kept profit, it goes to services for next year, it’s profit is 1/7 of their federal, this CAN NOT keep it afloat.

    and in your first post you forget the fact that no money has gone to abortions since the 70s

    and gallup is annoying that i cant find the sample size…grrrrrr(rather important)

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 9:36pm

    #2: Yes, the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds for abortion except in 3 circumstances (yes, states do use federal funds for abortions), but PP still has $1+ billion revenue.

    #3: Donations were covered in the previous post. If I feel like it I’ll repost here for ya, but I’m sure you’ll find them on the first page.

    “no money has gone to abortions since the 70s” —I’m going to assume you meant no federal money, which you would be wrong about.

    And yes, gallup is definitely annoying at the dang sample sizes

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 10:00pm

    BTW, me saying you’re wrong isn’t meant to be a downer, in any way. It’s just a fact. Which is cool, because I’m wrong about a lot, and if I said I like AB11 which they’re protesting in Wisconsin, I’m sure a lot of people would say I’m wrong. That’s why I like OC/OG so much, it’s a place of learning and idea sharing and, most importantly, watching how our government REALLY works instead of hearing about it in soundbites. I wish Donny WOULD write about AB11 though, I’d love to have a debate over that.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/21/2011 8:19am

    I should clarify then:
    No federal money has gone to abortions that are non-emergency(so far haven’t been any cases going against it) or rape or incest

  • Abaratarrr 02/20/2011 1:52pm

    Why is planned parenthood still needed with the new health care bill that passed? Isn’t everybody going to get free health care anyway?

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 9:37pm

    Yeah, pretty much. And the Hyde Amendment still allows for abortions to be paid out for rape, incest, or “as certified by a doctor” a life-saving procedure. So, everyone’s going to get reduced health care (state exchanges), which will pretty much make PP obsolete. BUT, if people still wanted PP around, it wouldn’t be too hard to get it to stay afloat.

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