This week, House Representatives are expected to vote on a bill which would suspend funding to Planned Parenthood for one year in order for Congress to further investigate the organization.
The Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), is the latest in a series of anti-choice measures introduced by conservative lawmakers to eliminate funding to the nation’s leading reproductive health care provider following the release of several fraudulent videos by the Center of Medical Progress.
The videos, deceptively edited, claim to capture the illegal sale of fetal tissue, a charge that has been dis-proven repeatedly. Experts, including an investigative reporter for the FBI- have now discredited the videos in a formal report to Congress. Additionally, state agency representatives from Georgia, South Dakota, Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts have independently confirmed that all five states have not violated any laws.
Despite no evidence of wrongdoing (several congressional probes and investigations of Planned Parenthood in a dozen states have turned up nothing to date), Republicans insist on targeting the organization. In addition to Black’s proposed bill, which would bar federal funding to any entity that provides abortions with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the woman, 31 House Republicans (all of them men) have pledged to oppose any federal spending bill and risk government shutdown unless the legislation blocks funding to Planned Parenthood as well.
Given that Planned Parenthood provides quality, affordable reproductive health care to 2.7 million women, men and teens at approximately 700 health centers nationwide, the stakes could not be higher.
“Now that the false claims against Planned Parenthood have fallen apart, politicians are heartlessly scrambling to attack women’s access to health care however they can,” said Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Eric Ferrero. “It’s clear those behind these attacks have always had a clear agenda: to ban abortion, and cut millions of women and men across the country from necessary reproductive care.”
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 9/14/15; 8/13/15; US News 9/15/15; NPR 8/27/15