Anti-abortion votes target funding for Planned Parenthood; shutdown possible

Senators voted 54-42 to move ahead on the abortion legislation, but that fell six votes short of the 60 needed to advance the bill.


Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a Republican bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Hard-line traditionalists like Cruz are pushing for Republicans in Congress to strip Planned Parenthood of its elected financing by any methods fundamental, including an administration shutdown.

Republicans then will have to figure out what to do to keep money flowing to federal departments when their funding expires on September 30.

“We in this chamber are never going to agree completely on the abortion question“, said McConnell.

While today’s bill did not address federal funding for Planned Parenthood, supporters say it would have put the United States in line with the majority of the world when it comes to abortion policies.

The measure stripping the organization of its funding for a year would result in savings of $235 million, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today, which will be redirected to community health centers.

Congress is on a limited schedule this week, because of the historic visit by Pope Francis, as well as the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, but behind the scenes McConnell and his leadership team are working to keep his promise and avert next week’s looming shutdown.

The outcome suggest that despite the furor over Planned Parenthood this summer, the voting patterns on abortion in the Senate have not shifted significantlly.

House Speaker John Boehner has been unable to resolve a dispute with several dozen conservative Republicans who say they are willing to force a government shutdown if defunding of Planned Parenthood isn’t linked to a federal spending bill.

“We are running out of time” to work out a plan to finance the government, second-ranking Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas said Tuesday.

Before moving to a spending bill that would be sent to the House for debate, McConnell could offer up a temporary funding measure that defunds women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood.

The bill was prompted by conservative backlash to a series of undercover videos in which Planned Parenthood employees discuss the use of fetal tissue obtained during abortion procedures.

Dear Sen. McConnell, your article Monday in The Enquirer (“Vote set to ban abortion after 20 weeks”) is, at best, an extremely feeble effort to deflect your refusal to even vote on defunding the butchers at Planned Parenthood of the $500 million in federal funds they now receive.

“If you really want to make improvements like the Republicans claim they do, you don’t do it by attaching these bills to things like campaign refinance reform or threatening the American people with the threat of a shutdown”, Ramirez said.


Actually, the government doesn’t shut down, at least not the essential parts. They said the department had extra dollars two years ago but that this time around it does not have enough additional reserves. He also has said that efforts to halt Planned Parenthood’s money won’t succeed unless Obama is replaced by a Republican president in next year’s elections.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch Mc Connell of Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington