Politics

Why Your Government Might Shut Down Over Planned Parenthood

September 18th 2015

By:
Diana Crandall

The House of Representatives voted to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C. on Friday. The legislation, in which almost all Republicans and two Democrats were in support of, would stop funding for the organization for a full year. The halt could allow Congress time to investigate claims that Planned Parenthood employees have broken federal laws by selling aborted fetuses for medical research.

RELATED: What You Should Know About the Planned Parenthood Controversy

If passed by the Senate and President Obama, the freeze would slash $528 million in funding from the organization after a series of edited videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) implied that Planned Parenthood is engaging in the illegal sale of tissue and body parts. Planned Parenthood argues that it acted legally, and that the videos were deceptive and edited to portray them in a bad light.

Why now?

It’s no secret that Republicans in Congress do not like Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is an organization that provides healthcare, education, and resources to both women and men across the U.S. in communities that are often underserved and underprivileged. In addition to health resources, some clinic locations also perform legal abortions. After months of escalation over the release of these videos, a showdown culminated on Friday, when the House passed the bill 241 to 187.

What now?

Congress has to pass a budget before Sept. 30. If GOP and Democratic leaders do not reach an agreement on what to do with federal dollars, it could lead to another government shutdown.

Still, Democrats reminded House Republicans that Planned Parenthood is prohibited from spending federal money on abortions anyway.

Regardless, the bill won’t become law because Senate Democrats will oppose it, and President Obama will veto it. But the fact that it’s on the table at all worried a lot of people for the future of women’s sexual and reproductive health in America. Here are some reactions to news that the bill passed the House:

Take a look at the videos for yourself

Here is the edited compilation of video that Republicans in Congress used to back their side of the argument. The White House calls these videos “fraudulent,” and said that President Obama rejects efforts to cut federal funds:


Then, check out an unedited cut of that video.