Elsewhere online
September 23, 2015

Senate Measure Would Cut Some Planned Parenthood Funds

The Senate is slated to vote Thursday on a bill that would divert about half of Planned Parenthood's federal funding to other women's health organizations in a bid to avert a government shutdown, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The proposal to reroute $235 million represents "the best option to keep the government funded, to protect women’s health, and to press pause on [Planned Parenthood] funding," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said of the measure, which would fund federal operations through December 11.

Congress must pass spending bills by September 30 to keep the government functioning. In a largely party-line vote Friday, the House of Representatives approved stripping all funding for Planned Parenthood, which gets about $450 million a year from Washington to provide non-abortion health services for low-income women.

Amid the furor over an anti-abortion group's undercover videos purporting that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue, Congressional conservatives are pressing Republican leaders to kill any spending measure that includes money for the nonprofit. Planned Parenthood denies the allegations, saying it donates fetal tissue for medical research in accordance with U.S. law, and asserts that the videos are edited to mislead.

Senate Democrats have sufficient votes to derail the House bill and also intend to block Mr. McConnell's $235-million proposal, at which point the majority leader is expected to bring up a spending bill that includes full funding for Planned Parenthood, according to the Journal.