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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 31-60 of 68 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/21/2011 8:08am

    dude $2,400 is alot… I don’t even have that much period let alone to donate.

    and most people who use or have used PP are low income so they don’t have 2,400 to donate either.

    and most poltics are funded by insanely rich people to get certainly things passed to help their businesses, the average person who are affected by PP are not insanely rich.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/21/2011 10:28am

    You’re 100% correct, $2,400 is a lot of money. I work a well paying job, but I’ve gotten into debt, and I’m having trouble saving $1,000 over a year’s time. So, let’s make it more reasonable:

    1.) Female donors giving $200 – $2,399 during 2009 to 2010 elections (~175,689 individuals) = $110.6 million
    2.) All donors giving $200 – $2,399 during 2009 to 2010 elections (~656,438 individuals) = $438.7 million

    These numbers are 0.19% & 0.36% of adult population respectively. So, AT MOST, we’re talking about almost a third of 1% of adults donating to keep PP alive, and this would be yearly. Imagine what we could do if we 10% of the adult population donated $200 yearly, or bi-yearly to something. WOW, that’d be something!

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/21/2011 10:29am

    Data links, courtesy of Center for Responsive Politics @

    Female: []

    Male & Female: []

    (They’re the same links as before)

  • 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.

  • Comm_reply
    Danielbh67 02/19/2011 10:26am

    The “new undercover videos” that were released were debunked and proven to be fraudulent. This bill is just an attempt to kill a business that SOME people don’t like the idea of. Regardless of how much good PP does they want to kill it for a perceived ‘evil’.

  • Comm_reply
    M4Finny 02/19/2011 4:18pm

    How much good PP does? Are you kidding us? They murder babies to make money. I suppose the Philadelpia abortion doctor was doing “good” too? Was it “good” when he shoved scissors into the brains of live babies? Was it “good” when he cut their feet off and stored them in jars? Abortion is evil and PP is the mecca of this evil. You want to fund it? Fine, keep my tax dollars away from your perversions.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/19/2011 7:55pm

    that doctor was in no way connected to PP, give up that argument… what he did was illegal, what PP is legal.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/19/2011 7:54pm

    way to be original, that was a copy and paste from a prolife site.(and from the tactics prolife people take, it isn’t beneath them to lie to get their way)

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 4:47am

    Umm, actually, that was a copy/paste from the congressional record which recorded the debate, which if you read my posting you could’ve figured out. That’s public school education for you I guess. Here, I’ll repost it for you:

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/20/2011 1:36pm
    not everyone can be bother to read the hundreds of pages of the archive of debates, takes like 50% longer to read it than hear it, which unless you have dont have a life or it’s your job to, is way to long to keep.

    and this was from pence with uncited information and citing only alleged cases. alleged =/= actually happen, it just means accused and last i checked, it was innocent until proven guilty which pence seems to he can judge guilt.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 9:26pm

    not everyone can be bother to read the hundreds of pages of the archive of debates

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 9:30pm

    Grrr…..Hate when it doesn’t post everything. Anyways, yes, innocent until proven guilty just like:







    They are innocent until proven guilty, too bad they’re also proven guilty.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/21/2011 8:10am

    but you can not punish for for things not proven guilty, this is why bill of attainder exists when it comes to passing laws against someone.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/21/2011 10:39am

    Totally agree, Bill/writ of attainder is definitely a bad thing. That’s why I have no stance on this position, I’m not totally convinced it is a bill of attainder and I’m not convinced it’s not.

    I mean, yes, I can see how it can be interpreted as such, but it doesn’t do 1 thing that it must do for it to be a Bill of Attainder: The amendment doesn’t declare them guilty of a crime. All it literally says is: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be made available for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. or any of the following affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.” and then it goes on to detail the affiliates. So, since it doesn’t qualify completely as a Bill/writ of Attainder, at least not by the definition of such, then I don’t think it is, but I can see how it is interpreted as such. (BTW, the quote was taken from the Congressional Record)

  • Comm_reply
    AlexisML 02/24/2011 3:28pm

    The same thing can be said about employees from any organization. Bad people are everywhere, that doesn’t mean that the organization that they work for voluntarily supports them.

  • fakk2 02/18/2011 4:38pm

    And in the interests of being bi-partisan, here’s the last comments without edit:

    “Let me be clear as I come to the floor.

    I long for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history, when we move past the broken hearts and the broken lives of the past 38 years. But as this debate rages on, I call on my colleagues in both parties: Let’s at least respect what has been the historic and overwhelming consensus of the American people: that we ought not use their taxpayer dollars to provide or promote abortion at home and abroad. Let’s end taxpayer support for abortion providers, specifically Planned Parenthood, once and for all. I urge my colleagues to take a stand for taxpayers and to take a stand for life, to take a stand against a pattern of corruption, and to take a stand for young women in crisis pregnancies, who deserve access to unbiased and compassionate health care services."
  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/18/2011 4:39pm

    Let’s end the taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood. The Pence amendment’s purpose is to do simply that and, in so doing, to stand with the American people, to stand with the American taxpayer, and to stand without apology for the sanctity of human life.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/18/2011 8:19pm

    and to stand without apology for the sanctity of human life.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/18/2011 8:19pm

    That is not what i typed, i quoted that and it only showed that….

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 4:58am

    Haha, good to see you’re not pro-choice Dayofswords! just kidding, although I’m not sure why it only posted that and not everything else.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/20/2011 1:52pm

    I am prochoice, i typed like a whole paragraph…

    something about most who are against abortions like war basically, Geogre carlin said it best ( ) “if you’re preborn, you’re fine. If you’re preschooled, you’re fucked” and “they want live babies to raise them to be dead soldiers”

    so it goes:
    -9months to birth : your awesome
    birth to 18: drain on society
    18 to whenever: you’re amazing, now how’s your aim?

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 9:32pm

    Haha, that is pretty funny.

  • fakk2 02/18/2011 4:53pm

    YAY! here’s the congressional record, I like what everyone is saying here, they make a good argument for it and against it:

  • fakk2 02/18/2011 4:59pm

    AWESOME! Anyone reading the PDF file HAS to read Mrs. Lowey’s second paragraph.

  • DeborahJBrown 02/19/2011 2:33am

    De-funding Planned Parenthood is foolish at best and disastrous at worst. Low income women and babies should not be expected to give up birth control, gynecological care and prenatal care in order to pay down the federal deficit. Economic recovery won’t occur by assuring a lack of birth control, increasing the number of teen pregnancies without prenatal care, adding to the already growing problem of child abuse resulting from ill prepared and unsupported young parents especially while cutting back in related areas of social service and police. I hope this does not pass – it’s the least intelligent thing I’ve seen go through the House to date. Very, very SHORT-SIGHTED. The cost of clean-up from this folly would be astronomical. There are certainly more sensible places to cut a budget… like how about starting with Republican Representative Boehner’s pet engine project.

  • Sarah01 02/19/2011 4:23am

    Citizens need to stop looking to the government as a personal business transaction. To deny funding to a group/facility based on a personal developed form of generic classification towards abortion is recklessness. Not all abortions are for selfish reasons, we should all know this by now. Instead we should have empathy for the women who go through this procedure because of rape, incest or lives at risk. Reality is, there are laws already put in placed to prevent tax payers money for abortions; to go as far as “it pays for the light which is used during abortion procedures” is redundant and a waste of taxpayers money in itself. There will always be funding for items which some don’t like (ie. wars, church grants, death penalty, tax cuts to rich, etc.), but remember we try to create a society that’s respectful for all. Final note, if one can’t respect the women who chooses based on this personal generic classification, they will never respect the child the woman carries or did carry.

  • Comm_reply
    fakk2 02/20/2011 4:54am


    Think about it like this. It needs to be a personal business transaction. People all across America have a personal vested interest in what their government does. And as much as progressives hate to admit, there are a lot of people which don’t like PP because they just don’t trust it. Just like there’s a lot of people that don’t like the idea of “In God We Trust” being printed on money or posted on any government building, although there is not a rule for a separation of church and state, which is only a paraphrasing of the original. They still fight for things like that even though it’s not affecting them, because it is personal to them. So, the federal, as well as state and local IS personal and should stay personal. WE should be the watchdogs, which can only happen if we have a personal interest in government.

  • M4Finny 02/19/2011 4:15pm

    Good. Let’s continue with defunding NPR and the United Nations as well.

  • Comm_reply
    Dayofswords 02/19/2011 7:59pm

    Yes, so we can have only Fox news to watch, they neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever lie or change the truth.

  • Sarah01 02/20/2011 6:30am

    You may claim to be a watchdog but you can easily be as morally and politically corrupted as those you seek to be fraudulent. Especially, if you become too emotionally involved in an issue, then you thoughts and claim to be solutions become irrational and reckless. I realize that my taxes will go for things that I may not like, but then again I also realize the world does not revolve around just my personal moral principals either. If you don’t know the first hand what some of these women go through then you probably shouldn’t be commenting or making general classifications of them either.

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