It has been an intense week in Congress, with a complete government shutdown looming over the nation last Friday that hinged on whether or not to fund abortions with tax-payers money, as well as clashing ideologies clearly portrayed to the American people. “The lines have long been drawn on this controversial issue and are about to divide deeply once again,” says CNN.
Yesterday the House and Senate passed the federal budget – and while the House voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood (PP) from receiving tax payers money, the Senate inevitably voted to keep them funded. This is the House of Representatives second time voting to end tax payer funded abortions through PP – an historic gesture that the American people are once again declaring their pro-life views. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life said: “Recent polls reveal that an overwhelming majority of Americans—whether pro-life or pro-abortion—oppose the use of federal monies to support abortion.“
While de-funding PP and overhauling obamacare did not pass in this year’s federal budget, some really great things did pass. Here’s a quick look:
In the Nation
House votes to de-fund Planned Parenthood. House members voted 241-185 for a resolution that would prohibit the Planned Parenthood abortion business from qualifying for family planning funds. The vote saw almost all Republicans supporting de-funding while Democrats generally opposed it.
Ban on abortion funding in D.C. reinstated. On a 260-167 vote, lawmakers approved a funding bill that reinstates the abortion funding ban in the District of Columbia that President Barack Obama and Democrats overturned in their budget bills last year. In addition to the ban on DC abortion funding, the continuing resolution also cuts funding to the pro-abortion UNFPA (United Nations Family Planning Agency) that has worked hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who have enforced the one-child rule with forced abortions and other human rights abuses. Republicans trimmed funding for the agency from the $55 million President Barack Obama put in place to $40 million.
GOP Continuing Resolution lowers Title-X funds. The GOP long-term CR also cuts the Title X domestic family planning funding, the pool of money from which Planned Parenthood is funded. The cuts take the program from the $317 million it received in 2010 to $300 million, the level of money it received in 2008 and decreasing the pool of funds from which Planned Parenthood can draw.
Committee passes bill to add Constitutional amendment that bans tax-payer funded abortions. On Wednesday I sat-in on a HHS committee hearing of Rep. Dennis Baxley (R. Distric 24) introducing his bill that would allow Floridians to vote on an amendment to the Florida constitution that would ban tax-payer funded abortions in Florida (essentially the Hyde Amendment). The bill passed with 12 yeas, with 6 nays.
Florida Senate Committee Passes Ultrasound Before Abortion. The bill requires abortion centers to do something they don’t normally do: show women considering an abortion the results of the ultrasound they typically take beforehand to determine the age of the baby at the time of the abortion. Senate Bill 1744 received the support of a committee in the state Senate today and now has just one more committee to go before heading to the state Senate floor for a debate and vote. This bill is similar to HB 1143 that former Gov. Crist vetoed last year.