House Passes Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood

February 18, 2011 10:51 a.m.

By a vote of 240-185, the House passed Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-IN) amendment to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding.

According to MSNBC, ten Democrats voted to pass the measure, while seven Republicans voted against it.

The bill is not likely to make it through the Senate, where the Democrats have the majority, or to survive a veto by President Obama if it comes down to it.Pence hailed the passage of the bill in a statement, calling it “a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life. By banning federal funding to Planned Parenthood, Congress has taken a stand for millions of Americans who believe their tax dollars should not be used to subsidize the largest abortion provider in America.”

He continued: “I commend my colleagues in both parties for taking a stand for taxpayers and a stand for life. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to support this legislation and end federal funding of Planned Parenthood once and for all.”

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement condemning the vote, calling the legislation “extreme and dangerous.”

“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,” Richards wrote.

As TPM has reported, Pence has been pushing to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, even though federal funds can’t be used for abortions and are earmarked for family planning and women’s health services, including cancer screenings.

TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro wrote earlier this week:

A portion of that care falls under the so-called “Title X” provisions of the Public Health Service Act, a law that provides federal funding for family planning — but not abortion, which cannot be paid for with federal money except in very strict circumstances, such as pregnancies resulting from rape. In their zeal to trim federal spending — and, according to women’s rights advocates on the Hill and elsewhere, as part of a plan to eliminate funding for contraception all together — Republicans have eliminated Title X funding from their budget proposal.

Pence has cited the “investigation” by anti-abortion activist group LiveAction, headed by Lila Rose, as part of the reason the government should stop funding Planned Parenthood. LiveAction sent actors into local Planned Parenthood facilities posing as pimps and prostitutes, who then made reference their supposed underage sex workers while trying to get employees to incriminate themselves. Only one Planned Parenthood employment has been fired in the aftermath of the highly edited videos’ release.

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