Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to want two things: to avoid a government shutdown and to relieve himself of pressure from pro-life conservatives who want Planned Parenthood defunded after revelations of its organ harvesting practices.
With just eight days before a possible government shutdown – McConnell’s strategy, one that, as CNN reports, will “overcome demands from conservatives who want to link their effort to defund Planned Parenthood with must-pass legislation.”
“I don’t think it’s been finally decided but to me it’s become increasingly apparent that the Senate is going to have to move,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Senate Majority Whip.
McConnell will have the Senate consider two bills. The first would prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and an organization that has been shown to harvest the body parts of aborted babies after altering the abortion procedure so as to obtain the best specimens for sale.
Democrats are expected easily to block that bill from getting the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate, but McConnell hopes its defeat will send a clear signal to agitated right-wing Republicans in the House, and some in the Senate, to abandon their push to tie Planned Parenthood money to the short term government funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, or CR.
The first vote will likely come Thursday, the day Pope Francis will speak to a joint session of Congress.
A second measure – which Democrats and moderate Republicans will likely approve – would fund the government temporarily through early December, and would still include funding for Planned Parenthood.
Also on Tuesday, the Senate will hold a procedural vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a measure that would ban abortions in the United States past the fifth month of pregnancy.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, will join the bill’s sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, for a press conference. Present at the press conference will be Micah Pickering, who was born at 22 weeks.
In a statement, Dannenfelser said:
We thank Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the new pro-life Senate majority for bringing this historic legislation up for a vote. This law would, for the first time, protect an entire class of unborn children. It would literally take some children off of the table for destruction and dissection at Planned Parenthood, which has been exposed by the Center for Medical Progress as illegally harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted children.
As we celebrate Micah’s life and all that prenatal medicine gives us the tools to do, we must acknowledge that other children, the same age, die an untimely brutal death.
“Planned Parenthood officials make it clear in the videos that abortions can be manipulated by strategically ‘crushing’ or using a ‘less crunchy’ procedure, to yield a better organ harvest,” she continued. “‘Crushing’ the human body to extract these organs is excruciatingly painful. Recognizing this pain, fetal surgeons operating on ‘wanted’ children, routinely administer anesthesia to their small patients in the womb.”