Is Planned Parenthood Funded By The Spending Bill Approved By The House? There's A Serious Catch
Yes, the House passed a bill today (oh, good!). Unfortunately, the passing of a bill that does, thankfully, fund Planned Parenthood through to the end of this year — in spite of conservatives' demands that the nonprofit be shuttered — is not a victory. Far from it. The stopgap bill means that Planned Parenthood will stay open for now, but the very nature of a "stopgap" bill suggests that there's another rough patch to come.
The bill, advanced throughout Wednesday and finally passed with hours to go before the shutdown deadline, will ensure all federal agencies stay open until Dec. 11, and that organizations like Planned Parenthood will continue to be federally funded. Unfortunately, not only does this put Planned Parenthood in peril ten weeks from now, it also doesn't account for the legislation that's ongoing outside of the federal budget — such as the bill passed by the House Tuesday which would let some states break funding ties between Medicaid and Planned Parenthood.
The spending bill grudgingly passed by the House Wednesday follows a hard-fought battle by Cecile Richards during a hearing — though Richards told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow afterwards that it would be "generous" to describe the hearing as as such. The reason for her being there, Richards told the assembled members of government, was due to "deceptively edited videos released by a group that is dedicated to making abortion illegal."
Throughout this summer, the Center for Medical Progress, a right-wing nonprofit that is staunchly anti-abortion, released video after video that sought to paint Planned Parenthood as a barbaric organization riddled with illegal activity. Although an agency immediately commissioned by Planned Parenthood found that those videos were edited, their release — and their mentions in Republican debates, most notably in a passionate speech from candidate Carly Fiorina — gave triumphant anti-abortion activists a reason to go up against Planned Parenthood once more.
For now, Planned Parenthood will remain open, although it bears mentioning here that abortion clinics are being shuttered all around the country. In some states, the number of clinics left open are in the single digits. If the majority of the Republican Party (and every one of its many, many presidential candidates) gets their way, it's about to get a whole lot worse than that.