Earlier today, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill that, if it were to become law, would put the kibosh on Planned Parenthood's funding for the next year if they do not agree to stop performing abortions. The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where Democrats have said they will filibuster, and President Barack Obama has also promised to veto any measure that disrupts Planned Parenthood's funding.
A second abortion-related bill, which according to the Washington Post would impose criminal penalties on medical personnel who fail to aid an infant born after an attempted abortion," also passed the House on Friday along partisan lines.
The bills come on the heels of a series of videos released by an organization called the Center for Medical Progress, which allegedly depict Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue for profit.
Though Planned Parenthood already does not use federal funding for abortions, Republican members of Congress are opposed to funding the organization at all until an investigation of its practices is conducted. Representative Diane Black, a Republican from Tennessee, was quoted by the Post as saying, "If there is reason to investigate, then there is reason to withhold taxpayer dollars during that period of time."
It should also be noted that the eventual success or failure of either abortion bill is unlikely to affect the possibility of a government shutdown, which will go into effect if Congress does not pass spending legislation by September 30.
The House recently passed a third bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy that is tied to the government's upcoming budget; however, the House and Senate Appropriations Committee have also readied a second, "clean" version of the budget that does not mention the abortion issue and would keep the government running, given that a budget weighed down by abortion legislation is unlikely to pass the Senate.
Five In-Depth Stories on Abortion
1. In Victoria, Harassing Women About Abortions No Longer Counts as Free Speech
2. The Complicated Debate Over Banning Abortion Protests in Canberra
3. Why Satanists Are Fighting America's Restrictive Abortion Laws
4. I Went to a Bizarre Conference on How Abortion Affects Men
5. These Texas Women Want to Fund Your Abortion
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