House schedules vote to defund Planned Parenthood on Friday
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life groups are asking constituents to contact their Congressmen, as the House of Representatives has scheduled a vote on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood for one year and repeal numerous portions of the ObamaCare law for this Friday.
House members plan to use a process known as reconciliation to stop most federal funds from flowing to Planned Parenthood, which is under multiple federal investigations for breaking at least two felony laws related to its harvesting and sale of aborted babies' body parts.
Bills passed using reconciliation are not subject to filibuster, so they need only a simple majority to pass both Republican-controlled chambers of Congress.
Republicans maintain a narrow control over the Senate (54-46), but have been unable to overcome Democratic filibusters of pro-life legislation. Under the filibuster, restored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this year, bills may need 60 votes to advance.
The “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act” (H.R. 3762) - which passed the House Budget Committee on October 9 by a party line, 21-11 vote - would end payments for one year to certain"prohibited entities": non-profit family planning groups that provide elective abortions and received more than $350 million in Medicaid payments in the last fiscal year.
That description seems tailored for Planned Parenthood.
"As we now know, Planned Parenthood will perform an abortion as late as 24 weeks and scavenge the parts of the baby," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, as he encouraged Congress to pass the bill. "As a nation, we are without excuse in what we have facilitated with our funding of Planned Parenthood's inhumane treatment of mothers and their unborn children."
In a letter to Congress, the National Right to Life Committee said it "strongly supports the language in the bill that would block, for one year, most federal payments to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). It would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the CHIP and the Title V and Title XX block grant programs, thus covering roughly 89% of all federal funds to Planned Parenthood."
Those funds would be redirected to community health centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by a margin of 13-to-1, according to some estimates.
"Longstanding objections to the massive federal funding of PPFA have been reinforced by recent widely publicized undercover videos, which illuminate the callous brutality that occurs daily in these abortion mills," NRLC notes. Those videos, released by the Center for Medical Progress, landed Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards before Congress, under oath.
Taxpayer funding at the federal, state, and local level accounts for 41 percent of Planned Parenthood's annual budget. Abortion accounts for 86 percent of the remainder, Richards told Congress.
The reconciliation bill would also repeal numerous provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, conventionally known as ObamaCare -- including the requirement that individuals purchase coverage or pay a fine, the employer mandate, and .
It also abolishes the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an unelected bureaucratic body critics say is designed to impose federal health care rationing by denying services to vulnerable patients.
"NRLC has always opposed the ObamaCare law and advocated its repeal," the letter states. The pro-life American Center for Law and Justice has called ObamaCare - which provides a $1 surcharge for abortion and has in some cases illegally funded abortion - “the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.”
Pro-life advocates are asking voters to contact the House of Representatives and ask them to pass the bill. "Please act now," Florida Right to Life asked members in an e-mail sent out to supporters today. "Urge your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives to support the "reconciliation bill" (H.R. 3762), to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal two major health-care rationing components of Obamacare!"
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The bill, which is likely to pass both the House and the Senate, is all but certain to be vetoed by President Obama. The chambers lack the votes to override a presidential veto. However, pro-life leaders say the bill puts President Obama - and Congressional Democrats - on record as supporters of an organization accused to selling fetal body parts for profit.
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