House passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Will it have a chance in Senate?

A divided House of Representatives voted Friday to block Planned Parenthood funds for a full year.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill, Friday, for a vote to block Planned Parenthood's federal funds for a year, as Republican leaders labored to keep GOP outrage over abortion from spiraling into an impasse with President Barack Obama that could shut down the government.

A divided US House of Representatives voted Friday to block Planned Parenthood funds.

In a vote that settled almost neatly along party lines (241-187), the House passed legislation that will block federal funds to the heath care provider for a year. The bill, which has little chance of being enacted as Democrats hold enough votes in the Senate to block it, is aimed at appeasing GOP outrage over abortion before it spirals into a government shut down that could harm party appeal.

The GOP outrage is sparked by secretly recorded videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing how to take tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research. While Planned Parenthood say they have acted legally and the tapes were edited, the videos have launched abortion into a prominent issue for the coming presidential election.

Emotional clashes on the subject have also followed in Congress. Friday’s debate featured a poster-sized photo of an aborted fetus.

“In the face of these videos, with all the alternatives women have for health, why would you want to force your constituents to pay for something so evil?” asked House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, according to the Associated Press.

The bill by Rep. Diane Black (R) Tennessee, would shift Planned Parenthood’s federal payments to thousands of community health centers, which Republicans say would take on displaced patients.

Democrats said those community clinics are already overburdened and far away from the women who need them.

Both sides have accused the other of using the issue for political gain.

“Some of their members are willing to risk women’s lives just to score political points,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) of Florida, to the AP.

Planned Parenthood receives around one-third of their yearly budget from federal payments, which usually take the form of Medicare payments handling low-income patients. Virtually none of the federal money can be used for abortions. The nearly 700 Planned Parenthood clinics provide sexual disease testing, contraceptives, and abortions.

House Speaker John Boehner, (R) of Ohio, is likely hoping the bill will be a salve for his political puzzle. A long-time abortion opponent, Representative Boehner hopes to satisfy conservative lawmakers who might oust him as leader for failing to oppose President Obama, while also avoid a government shutdown, which could damage the party’s appeal in the upcoming election. 

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to House passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Will it have a chance in Senate?
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2015/0918/House-passes-bill-to-defund-Planned-Parenthood.-Will-it-have-a-chance-in-Senate
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe