The House of Representatives failed to gather enough votes yesterday to override President Obama’s veto of a measure that would have defunded Planned Parenthood for one year and repealed key provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The 241-186 vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override.
Obama vetoed the measure last month. The House passed the anti-women’s health measure only after it was pushed through the Senate late last year using a legislative strategy called reconciliation, which allowed the bill to pass with a simple majority. To date, Republicans have attempted to repeal or undermine the ACA 63 times. Yesterday’s vote was also the 12th time anti-women’s health politicians have tried to defund Planned Parenthood during this Congress.
This latest attempt by the House to defund Planned Parenthood comes only a week after a grand jury in Houston, Texas indicted anti-abortion extremist David Daleiden on felony criminal charges related to his activities as director of the so-called Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Sandra Merritt, a CMP employee was also indicted on a felony charge. Last year, CMP released a series of misleading videos falsely accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue. These videos have been used by anti-abortion politicians to justify political attacks on Planned Parenthood even though the videos have been thoroughly debunked and investigations in 12 states have found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.
Despite these many investigations, a Select Investigative Panel has been formed in the House Energy and Commerce Committee to investigate “big abortion providers.” The Panel has, so far, not been willing to investigate CMP leaders or other anti-abortion extremists, even after the indictment of Daleiden and Merritt. Targeted threats and intimidation of abortion providers has also increased, nearly doubling over four years, according to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Violence Survey.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has an ongoing campaign calling on the House Select Investigative Panel to redirect its focus to anti-abortion violence, intimidation, and harassment, or to disband.