Nancy Pelosi: Planned Parenthood videos are a ‘distraction,’ we won’t defund
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Not everyone is moved by the latest in four undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood harvesting fetal organs for sale to biotech companies. Nancy Pelosi says “controversy doesn't exist” over the agency, despite the videos.
Pelosi and the House Democrats are “overwhelmingly” opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood, she said.
The House Minority Leader said on Thursday that efforts to end taxpayer funding of the controversial organization following four, progressively more disturbing videos are a “distraction” from serious legislative business.
Her remarks came after conservative Republicans in the House and Senate – including Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz – sought to add an amendment on ending taxpayer funding of the abortion provider to a must-pass government funding bill.
That would reduce the number of votes needed to win to 51, rather than the usual 60, in the U.S. Senate. But Democrats warn that would lead to a government shut down, which could backfire on Congressional Republican leadership.
Yet a group of 18 conservative Republicans have sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, saying they will not vote for any bill that continues to underwrite the industry depicted in those videos, picking through fetal body parts and haggling for the best return.
“Shutting down the government is a terrible option…and it proved to be very unpopular when Republicans did it before,” Rep Pelosi, D-CA, told Politico. “Let’s hope…cooler heads prevail.”
She said if Boehner is unable to convince enough Republicans to vote for bills that maintain the status quo on “family planning” grants to abortion providers, that he will woo Congressional Democrats instead.
Despite the potential for negative publicity, a growing number of moderate Republicans in both chambers of Congress are warming to the idea of turning off the spigot of taxpayer dollars to the abortion provider. Sen. John McCain, a vocal critic of threatening a government shutdown, has expressed his support.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is often vocal on pro-life legislation, agreed with adding such a provision as an amendment to a spending bill. “It’s the right way to go,” he said.
Planned Parenthood received $528.4 million from taxpayers in 2013 at the national, state, and local levels – accounting for 41 percent of its total budget.
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Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading abortion provider, performing 327,653 abortions in 2013.