This one is a change from my normal pace, and not what I had planned on posting next, but yesterday bill HR3134 passed the United States House of Representatives. To have a legal effect it will have to pass the Senate as well, but it’s social effect is quite clear – many people are against what they now realize Planned Parenthood has been doing.
First, the second half of that previous sentence is going to be very upsetting to many people in my close circle. Before anyone makes an assumptions about what I mean please read this blog post to understand the WHY of that statement. Let’s begin our journey down the rabbit hole…
Now, here is a link to the full contents of the bill and other ancillary information about it. This is more information than I care to host/maintain on this page. Before commending or condemning any bill I recommend you read it’s full text and make a significant effort to not only understand the bill, but also its purpose for being proposed, the baggage it carries, and the ramifications of the bill’s implementation. But this blog post isn’t just about this one bill. I like this bill, I don’t like defunding planned Parenthood. Starting to see why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions?
Here is the official summary of the bill:
“This bill prohibits, for a one-year period, the availability of federal funds for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates or clinics, unless they certify that the affiliates and clinics will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion during such period.
The restriction will not apply in cases of rape or incest or where a physical condition endangers a woman’s life unless an abortion is performed.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture must seek repayment of federal assistance received by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any affiliate or clinic, if it violates the terms of the certification required by this Act.”
I like that this is a temporary measure; this bill is a knee-jerk reaction to recent evidence of horrific activities within Planned Parenthood. We need a temporary measure while we formulate and implement a permanent solution.
There are exceptions to this bill, be aware of them. I don’t agree with all the exceptions, but as a “take it or leave it” scenario I will take it.
Quick note, why would the Department of Agriculture be involved with collecting refunds from Planned Parenthood? Anybody else find this odd?!?
Also, this bill has an amendment! But guess what, the amendment specifics have not been made public yet, only that its terms relate to House Resolution 421. What is H.Res.421 you ask? Here’s are the details: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-resolution/421/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%223134%22%5D%7D&resultIndex=1
This concerns me. Why are the full amendment details not published yet?
Let’s look at what we do know:
1. “…prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.” That’s great!
2. Alter Senate Bill 764.
3. Alter Senate Bill 1603.
4. “House Resolution 408 is laid on the table.” Being laid on the table means that it will now be ignored and not discussed and not passed unless someone makes a big fuss and everyone votes that they do in-fact now want to talk about it.
What is S. 764? https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/764
Here’s a summary from the good folks at the Congressional Buget Office (https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50135):
“S. 764 would authorize appropriations totaling $544 million over the 2016-2021 period for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out the National Sea Grant College Program, which funds scientific research, education, and public outreach at certain universities related to marine issues. In addition, under the bill the program would provide funds for marine policy fellowships.
Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $397 million over the 2016-2020 period and $147 million after 2020. Because enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
764 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.”
This bill passed the Senate back on 7-28-15. I like this bill. It’d be great if we knew how it was being altered.
Senate Bill 1603 is another good one, https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1603, it helps provide jobs for veterans. WHY ARE YOU NOT PUBLICIZING HOW IT IS BEING CHANGED?
Resolution 408 is where the House gave its official disapproval of the recent Iran-Nuclear “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” the Obama administration made. See hard-line “conservatives”, sometimes what you thought you wanted (defunding Planned Parenthood) you get something you didn’t want (one less objection to whatever it is that was upsetting you about that Iran deal, I’m still pretty unclear about what was upsetting people – aside from “Iran” and “Nuclear” being used in the same sentence). In specific the resolution allowed for “immediate” consideration of House Resolution 64, which states “… that Congress does not favor the nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) transmitted by the President to Congress on July 19, 2015, for purposes of prohibiting the taking of any action involving statutory sanctions relief by the United States pursuant to such agreement.” (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-joint-resolution/64/) So, to be clear, that means the House is NOT raising that objection or making that proposal. I’m fine with that also.
So, if I’m for HR 3134 what is my problem with defunding Planned Parenthood permanently?
This is a temporary “fix”, we need a permanent fix. Here is my simple argument:
To person for defunding Planned Parenthood:
Q: Why do you want Planned Parenthood defunded?
A: Because they perform abortions.
To person against defunding Planned Parenthood:
Q: Why should Planned Parenthood not be defunded?
A: They do lots of good things – it’s not just abortions, that’s not even the majority of what they do.
To both people:
Q: So, if Planned Parenthood took abortions “off the menu” and they keep getting funding is that a good solution?
I think that’s a good solution. Like I said above, I’m even open to some exclusions to that rule – but not many. The fact is that there are a lot of good things that Planned Parenthood does that I think it should keep doing, so I don’t want it defunded. But all those things could be done by other groups such as Pregnancy Assistance Center North (for my local area) and others. Yes, they could, but they’re not. Why is having another medical option a bad thing? If all their responsibilities were to be delegated to such non-profit groups, do those groups get federal funding? If so, what about when one of them does an abortion?
I know, I know, all that legal stuff to get to such a simple conclusion – but I wanted to make sure you were informed about this recent event and knew what you were actually for or against.
To me the saddest thing about this picture is that there are no independants and eight abstainers.
If you’d like to know how your representative voted on this bill you can see that here, https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/114-2015/h505.
P.S. – This does feed into the whole “socialized medicine” argument as a whole (spoiler alert, I’m for that), and that does bias me.