Written by guest contribtor Becki Fernandez
Yesterday, House Republicans voted on a bill that would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year. Though this move worried many, it was also understood that the bill would not pass the Senate and that President Obama would definitely veto it. And that is exactly what happened Thursday afternoon. In a 52-47 vote, including eight Republicans, the Senate stopped this government funding bill, which proposed for the funding Planned Parenthood receives to be distributed among health clinics that do not perform abortions, from advancing.
So the pro-choice, pro-health, and pro-women population can rest easy… for now. However, the radical conservatives that wanted to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood in the first place have promised us they will not stop. Senator, and presidential hopeful, Ted Cruz has stated he will do anything it takes to take down Planned Parenthood, even if it means another government shutdown.
House Republicans are basing their decision to defund Planned Parenthood on highly edited and misleading videos that the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released of discussions between Planned Parenthood employees and undercover “buyers” of what the CMP alleged to be Planned Parenthood selling unborn baby parts for a profit. However, Planned Parenthood makes absolutely no money off of these legal fetal tissue donations. Planned Parenthood has done nothing wrong in the way they conduct any of their abortion procedures. Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973.
Planned Parenthood also receives no federal funding for abortions whatsoever. Not that it makes too much of a difference anyway, since only 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides are abortions.
So when Republicans in Congress vote to defund Planned Parenthood, and urge the nation that they will not stop until it is indeed stripped of federal funding, they are not voting to stop abortions. Instead, they are voting to stop women in need from getting their pap smears, cancer screenings, STD screenings, sexual education, birth control, breast exams, prenatal care, and more.
The Senate may have stopped this bill for now, and pro-choice Americans should be thankful for that. But the fight is far from over. If a Republican wins the 2016 election, we will not have an Obama in the White House to veto any bill that does not include funding for Planned Parenthood. This is why it is vital that progressive Americans vote in the next election. What we have in Congress now are representatives that do not accurately reflect the ideals of the American people. A vote is what changes that. A vote is what will elect officials into office that care about Americans and listen to what Americans want, and Americans want bodily autonomy and respect. Americans want Planned Parenthood to stay and to continue to help women, men, and families everywhere.