It is impossible to follow the news today and not hear about the new “spending bill.” The legislation allocated around $1 trillion dollars to various departments and groups – all for the sake of avoiding a government shutdown.
One of the most controversial aspects of Congress’ new spending bill, passed earlier in May, is the act of defunding Planned Parenthood (or not.) Many people are questioning this aspect of the bill and wondering what it means for the United States if it were to happen or if it doesn’t happen. Consider these facts about this ever-important topic as you form your opinions about his defunding.
The defunding of Planned Parenthood being left out of the spending bill has left many pro-life groups disappointed. This news is certainly upsetting, but the reasons behind it make it a bit more understandable and bring hope to pro-life supporters around the country.
You may have heard conflicting stories about whether defunding Planned Parenthood is part of the law or not—some stories make it seem like it is a done deal and other show that it hasn’t occurred. The confusion arises because there were actually two bills. One is the Omnibus Appropriations Bill and the Budget Reconciliation Bill.
The Appropriations bill requires 60 votes in the Senate to pass, while the Reconciliation Bill only requires 51. Therefore, pushing through this important piece of legislature is more likely to occur through the Reconciliation Bill.
In a weekly press conference, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has spoken out explaining why the defunding was left out of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. His goal is to keep Republicans and pro-life supporters up-to-date with what is happening, and make certain America understands that future changes are in store. He explained the “two bill” situation and showed that it is the best way to allow the defunding to occur.
Ivanka Trump approached Planned Parenthood and made the suggestion of breaking into two separate organizations—one that doesn’t perform abortions and a smaller one that does. The idea was that the group could then receive funding for the women’s health services and the government would not be supporting abortions. The organization shut down the suggestion, and is only content to keep working as an abortion-providing firm.
The Hyde Amendment and Other Changes
One of the biggest concerns that pro-life supporters have is in regards to the Hyde Amendment. According to Paul Ryan, the passage of H.R. 7 in January 2017 has made the Hyde Amendment permanent. This means that government funds (such as Medicaid) cannot be used to pay for an abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger.
Many people feel that this amendment should automatically put Planned Parenthood spending on hold. The government is still working out the meaning of this bill and may wind up using it as a way to help push through further legislation regarding Planned Parenthood.
As time goes on, there are likely to be future changes put into place regarding PP. The goal of the current administration is to eventually defund the organization entirely, unless changes are made in regards to abortion. However, it may take some time to get these pushed through, with the current makeup of congress—even if it is majority Republican.
One thing that the public must be aware of is Planned Parenthood’s colossal costs – and not just in terms of human life. Each year, PP takes in nearly half a billion dollars in government sources. With the controversy over abortion and the questions about whether they are illegally selling fetal tissue, that is one big expense that could be put towards other needs that the United States currently has.
There is a lot to consider when looking at the defunding of Planned Parenthood. What is certain is that the Trump administration has the power to take action on the issue. What remains unknown is the president’s political will.
~ 1776 Christian