Senate Democrats have defeated the Republicans’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. The vote, according to The New Civil Rights Movement, was 53-46, and the bill needed 60 votes to head to the floor for debate. President Obama vowed to veto the measure if Republicans managed to get it to his desk.
The GOP’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood stem partly from videos that supposedly “prove” that they sell parts of aborted fetuses for profit. That lie persists, despite the fact that the Center for Medical “Progress” used paid actors in one video, and other videos were shown to be very heavily, and deceptively, edited. The idiots on the right are so bent on outlawing abortion, though, that they’ll lie, cheat and steal to shut down Planned Parenthood.
Besides that, a Republican investigation into Planned Parenthood found absolutely no wrongdoing whatsoever. Does that matter, though? No. They’re pandering to the religious right, which insists that we’re a Christian nation, and that low-income women having access to the reproductive care that they need is tantamount to funding baby murders. The words “reason” and “truth” are not in these people’s vocabulary.
The Huffington Post says that the bill, sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), would have prevented Medicaid funds, and federal funds for family planning, from going to Planned Parenthood. The organization uses those funds to provide non-abortion services such as cancer screenings, birth control, and treatments for STDs. In fact, that’s most of what they do. They’re not even close to being primarily abortion clinics.
Perhaps particularly galling is what Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) had to say:
In my state, there are eight times as many community health centers as there are Planned Parenthood facilities. I have every confidence they can absorb the legitimate health care needs of women for purposes that we all agree on, the primary health care.
Ridiculous. That might be true in Texas, but it’s not necessarily true in other states, particularly more rural states, and poorer states. HuffPo says, however, that it’s quite likely those clinics would not, in fact, be able to absorb all of Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid patients. The Government Accountability Office has recorded a shortage of providers that accept Medicaid, so these women would be out of luck.
These people live in bubbles and echo chambers, and are either totally oblivious, or willfully ignorant, of the facts of this issue. It’s likely both. HuffPo also reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said:
I know Democrats have relied on Planned Parenthood as an ally recently, but they must be moved by the horrifying images we’ve all seen. They must be shocked by the utter lack of compassion that’s been on display. They must care about women’s health as much as they care about some scandal-plagued political organization.
See there? McConnell is buying into the lie that some groups have sold about Planned Parenthood and selling baby parts for profit. In fact, what really happens is that women can allow Planned Parenthood to donate fetal tissue for medical research. They don’t sell it for profit.
Thankfully, Planned Parenthood will continue to receive its funding, at least for now. It’s not likely that Republicans will be able get the votes necessary in the Senate to actually ever pass it, but we can expect them to try again. This is good news for the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their reproductive care, which usually doesn’t include abortions.