A House passed reconciliation bill includes a moratorium on all Planned Parenthood taxpayer funds for one year, and would redirect those funds to comprehensive health care centers that do not provide abortion.
The bill (H.R. 3762) passed the House by a vote of 240-189 along party lines, with seven Republicans joining Democrats against the measure. The same bill would repeal key parts of Obamacare and use reconciliation as a parliamentary tool to block a Senate filibuster and require only 51 votes – instead of 60 – to pass that chamber.
However, several GOP senators – some who openly support Planned Parenthood – could ensure the bill’s defeat, as could several senators – Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Mike Lee – who say the bill doesn’t go far enough, reports Fox News. If the measure were to pass the Senate, however, President Obama has said he would veto any legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood.
The national pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) applauded the House vote and urged the Senate to pass the bill as well.
“Today’s House vote cuts Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding – the most significant portion of the abortion business’s overall $528 million a year in taxpayer funding,” said SBA List in a statement. “Women have the most to gain from congressional action to reroute these tax dollars to community and rural health centers, which provide comprehensive health care services to women, but do not abort the lives of unborn children and harvest their body parts.”
The group added:
Now is the time for the Senate to unify and take action. This is a top priority vote for the pro-life movement. Weakened resolve in the face of Planned Parenthood’s conduct is unacceptable.
Getting this bill on President Obama’s desk is vital to moving this issue forward, educating Americans, and encouraging them to watch the videos that expose Planned Parenthood’s atrocities. This process also sets out an important pathway for a new pro-life president in 2017.
According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute – SBA List’s research arm – if Planned Parenthood were defunded, the net change in patient population per Federally Qualified Health Center service site would be approximately 110 women – that is, two additional women per week.
Earlier in October, SBA List led a coalition letter, signed by national and state pro-life leaders, urging Congress to defund Planned Parenthood through reconciliation.
The letter, principally addressed to Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Mike Enzi and House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Tom Price, pledged the pro-life groups would give full support to “using the reconciliation process to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses of taxpayer funding under several mandatory programs such as Medicaid.”
Medicaid is the primary source of federal funds for Planned Parenthood. Some states have attempted to eliminate the abortion business’ federal funds, but have been blocked by federal judges. The Obama administration — a major supporter of Planned Parenthood — has also threatened to take action against states that attempt to defund the organization following the release of videos that have exposed its practice of harvesting the organs of unborn babies for sale on the open market.