Some 31 Republican lawmakers in the House of Representative have signed onto a letter saying they are committed to opposing any legislation to fund the federal government unless it defunds the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Should Republicans in Congress attempt to shut down the federal government with the hopes of de-funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business? That question has sparked an intense internal debate between Republican members of Congress and within pro-life circles.
While some pro-life advocates suggest a shutdown is necessary to de-fund Planned Parenthood, since Senate Democrats are filibustering legitimation to accomplish that, others say shutting down the government won’t even result in de-funding Planned Parenthood — and point to two research reports indicating the abortion giant will retain most all of its funding during a government shutdown.
According to a report in The Hill, 31 conservative Republicans are pressing forward with their demand that no governmental funding bill be passed unless it de-funds Planned Parenthood — even if it will only be vetoed by President Barack Obama and shut down the federal government.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 31 House Republicans had signed on to a letter from Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) vowing to oppose any spending bill that includes Planned Parenthood funding.
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That presents a problem for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), because Republican leaders can only lose 28 GOP votes before needing Democratic support to pass legislation.
At a Republican conference meeting on Wednesday, Boehner did not rule out targeting Planned Parenthood through a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government. Still, he warned that even if Republicans succeeded, the loss of the funding wouldn’t stop the organization from collecting fetal tissue for medical research, according to a source in the room.
Boehner also noted that a shutdown wouldn’t stop Planned Parenthood from receiving funding, because most of it comes from Medicaid, which is not covered by a regular appropriations bill.
As LifeNews has previously reported, Planned Parenthood would continue to receive the majority of its federal funding — including all of its Medicaid payments — even if Congress cannot enact a new spending law on Oct. 1, according to a nonpartisan study by the Congressional Research Service.
Planned Parenthood received $528.4 million in government funding in its fiscal year that ended June 2014, according to the group. CRS said that some of that money is funded through Department of Health and Human Services grant programs and would likely be halted if the government were to shut down. Planned Parenthood receives funding under Title X family planning grants.
But CRS said that in addition to Medicaid, other federal funding programs would be preserved, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program and some programs that are funded for multiple years, such as Community Development Block Grants. CRS cautioned that its estimate was not exact and was based on Government Accountability Office estimates of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding in 2012.
Still, Republicans are trying to figure out the best course of action, as The Hill reports:
Members of House GOP leadership plan to hold listening sessions this week with rank-and-file members as they seek a path forward.
One option is to pass a stand-alone bill to defund Planned Parenthood alongside congressional hearings that would allow members to make their voices heard on the issue. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, said Wednesday that strategy “seemed like a realistic thing that I would be for,” as leadership looks to avoid a shutdown on Oct. 1.
A second option to defund Planned Parenthood is to use the fast-track budget process known as reconciliation, which would allow a defunding measure to pass with 51 votes in the Senate instead of the usual 60.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, a central player in the process, said using reconciliation on Planned Parenthood is “being discussed” but it is “too early” to say whether it is likely or whether he favors that course.
Some House conservatives, however, are not satisfied with either option and are pushing for the riskier course of using the government spending bill to defund the group.
Regardless of which legislative vehicle Republicans use to try to defund Planned Parenthood, pro-abortion President Barack Obama will assuredly veto the legislation — thus shutting down the federal government. Many Republicans are concerned that they will be blamed for the shutdown heading into a crucial presidential election year and that media stories claiming Republicans are somehow hurting veterans or seniors would seriously hurt the presidential nominee. A government shutdown over Planned Parenthood would also largely be blamed on Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac poll.
Following a hearing yesterday on Planned Parenthood selling aborted babies and additional hearings on the issue, Congress is expected to vote on Planned Parenthood funding. The House of Representatives is planning a vote on legislation in a couple weeks that would de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business and the Senate is expected to vote soon on a second attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood.. The two votes would follow one the Senate had weeks ago, which saw Senate Democrats filibuster and block legislation to revoke $550 million in taxpayer funding.
The Center for Medical Progress recently released its most recent video — the 9th in its series of videos catching the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies and their body parts. This latest video catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
The Center for Medical Progress also released the full, uncut video of the conversation between undercover investigators form CMP and top officials with StemExpress, which buys aborted babies and their body parts from Planned Parenthood. The full footage is of a shorter video that summarized the meetings earlier this week.
In Congress, two committees in the House of Representatives have already launched investigations of Planned Parenthood. One committee is looking into whether or not the abortion business is breaking federal law by altering abortion procedures to better obtain aborted baby body parts for sale. Another committee, among other things, is investigating the Obama administration and whether there is any connection between it and the abortion giant.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants to know if the Obama administration, via the Department of Health and Human Services, provided any federal grants to Planned Parenthood that ultimately went to pay for the sales of aborted baby body parts and if they were used by Planned Parenthood to “support transactions involving fetal tissue.”
The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all nine:
- In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
- In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
- In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
- In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
- In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
- In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
- In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
- In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
- The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
So far, 12 states have responded to the Planned Parenthood videos and launched investigations into their abortion and organ harvesting business including South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. The district attorney in Houston Texas is also investigating after the Houston-based Planned Parenthood abortion facility was caught selling aborted babies.
Congress has expanded its investigation into the Planned Parenthood abortion business and five states have revoked taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, including Utah, Arkansas, Alabama, New Hampshire and Louisiana and Iowa’s governor has ordered a review of Planned Parenthood funding.
The full, unedited videos have confirmed that revelations that some aborted baby remains sold by Planned Parenthood go to biotech companies for the purpose of creating “humanized” mice. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has been exposed as having sold body parts from aborted babies for as much as 15 years.
The federal law that technically prohibits the sale of aborted babies and their body parts was written by a pro-abortion Congressman decades ago and essentially spells out a process by which sellers of aborted baby body parts can meet certain criteria that allows the sales to be legal. That’s why a Colorado congressman has introduced legislation to totally ban the sales of aborted baby body parts.