House GOP votes to block all Planned Parenthood funding

HOUSE GOP VOTES TO BLOCK ALL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING…. In case the rest of the House Republicans’ agenda targeting women’s health was too subtle, Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-Ind.) bill to block all federal funding for Planned Parenthood was approved today.

The 240-185 vote on Friday is a victory for anti-abortion forces led by Indiana GOP Rep. Mike Pence. He says taxpayer money should not go to groups that provide or promote abortion.

Democrats say Planned Parenthood provides contraception and other valuable family planning services, and that cutting off the money will make it hard for women to get such basic help.

Planned Parenthood provides services in hundreds of clinics around the country. Pence aides say the group reported receiving $363 million in federal money in its latest report.

The roll call hasn’t been posted, but according to multiple accounts, seven Republicans broke ranks and opposed Pence’s measure, while 10 conservative Dems voted with the GOP majority.

As a practical matter, Pence’s bill isn’t going anywhere, and he knows it. The measure won’t be approved in the Senate, and even if it somehow made it through the upper chamber, it’d get a presidential veto. Voters like these aren’t intended to be part of a governing agenda; they’re intended to score points and please right-wing constituencies. Republicans are wasting time to make themselves feel better.

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement, “It is difficult to understand why people who say they are opposed to abortion would do so much to undermine the family planning and contraception that helps prevent the need for it.”

Don’t go bothering them with logic, Cecile, they have a culture war to wage.

I’d also note that the debate on this, which began yesterday, took some emotional twists and turns, including Rep. Jackie Speier (D) of California, acknowledging her own abortion, while condemning a GOP colleague who was trivializing women’s decision-making. Greg Sargent has the video.

Update: By the way, Pence and others who supported today’s bill may want to take a moment to look up the meaning of “bill of attainder.”