Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa sponsored a bill to prohibit federal aid to Planned Parenthood and directing that the money instead be directed to “other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services.”
The Senate will vote on the measure before its August recess. The blowback the result of series of video depicting Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for fetal tissues of babies that were aborted.
The chances of getting 60 of 100 Senate votes they will need to cut off Planned Parenthood’s money seem rather remote.
Abortion rights are the holy grail of liberal ideology and they will not go down without a fight.
“Good luck,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said. “We’re dealing with the health of American women, and they’re dealing with some right-wing crazy.”
“Look, the bottom line is, Planned Parenthood does a great job protecting women’s health,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. “And I think, if you look at the polling data, the American people are overwhelmingly in favor of allowing Planned Parenthood to continue funding women’s health.”
On the other side of the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a co-sponsor, said, “This legislation would ensure taxpayer dollars for women’s health are actually spent on women’s health — not a scandal-plagued political lobbying giant.”
“The fact of the matter is it’s much more sophisticated than these little creatures that the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to save,” said Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson, accusing the government of saving snails but not human lives. “Why don’t they spend their time and effort trying to save a human life?”
Planned Parenthood is on record saying it has done nothing illegal. It receives more than $500 million annually in government aid, including some state funds. Federal funds cannot be used for abortions except for pregnancies involving rape, incest or where the mother’s life is in danger.
The group says the vast majority of federal dollars it receives comes from Medicaid reimbursements for providing preventative health care and that is why defunding Planned Parenthood wont be easy.
The laws governing Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income families, prevent states from excluding certain providers solely because of other medical services they provide, like abortions.
Today a Los Angeles Superior Court order issued that prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May. It appears to be the first legal action prohibiting the release of a video from the organization. It won’t be the last.
The third video was released and shows a Planned Parenthood official in Denver discussing per-organ pricing. The video also includes an interview with a phlebotomist, a person who draws blood for clinical testing, who worked for a company that procured fetal tissues from Planned Parenthood.
The vote to defund Planned Parenthood will come at some point, in the end it will be largely symbolic.