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House Passes Bill That Would Block Federal Funding of Planned Parenthood

The bill is not expected to pass the Senate in the coming weeks, and President Obama said that he would veto any bill that defunds the organization
House Passes Bill That Would Block Federal Funding of Planned Parenthood
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

In a 241-187 vote, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood.

Only three Republicans opposed the bill, which would cut off the approximately $500 million that Planned Parenthood receives through federal funding each year. Though the bill passed the House, it is expected to die in the Senate. President Obama has stated that he would veto any bill that attempts to freeze funding for the group.

“Millions of Americans rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings and other preventative care, and nothing that politicians in Congress did today will change the fact that our doors remain open to everyone, in every part of this country, who needs high-quality, compassionate reproductive health care,” said Eric Ferrero, Planned Parenthood’s vice-president of communications, said in a statement.

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Planned Parenthood has been a hot topic on Capitol Hill in recent weeks after a video went viral earlier this summer showing the organization’s officials discussing allegedly selling fetal organs to be used in medical research. However, Planned Parenthood officials retort the claims, saying that occasionally, its clinics will receive permission from women to donate fetal tissue for the purpose of stem cell research.

“Taxpayers should not be forced to financially support organizations whose behavior is, at best, unethical and possibly illegal,” Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) said today on the floor. “When it comes to defunding Planned Parenthood, the issue should not be partisan. This is about protecting the rights of taxpayers, but more importantly protecting the basic right of human life.”

All but two Democrats vehemently disagreed with the Republicans’ standpoint, arguing that the bill would affect millions of women including those who aren’t seeking abortions.

“There were over four million visits to Planned Parenthood clinics last year, and over 90 percent of this was basic women’s health care and not abortions,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) said on the floor. “Why are we talking about this legislation? Planned Parenthood doe these services, and no federal funds are spent on abortion services that Planned Parenthood does provide. But yet the majority will take the radical step of denying women of the basic health care they need.”