By DAVID NATHER & KATE NOCERA | 2/18/11 2:35 PM EST The House just approved Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, checking off a hot-button social issue even as it set up a bigger showdown over defunding the health care law. The vote was 240-185 with 11 Democrats voting for the amendment, and seven Republicans voting against. One member voted present. A group of Republicans on the floor applauded when the vote hit 218.That amendment managed to suck up three hours of often emotional debate time Thursday night, which is a big part of the reason the health care law defunding votes got pushed into today.
Pence, of Indiana, touched off a vicious back-and-forth Thursday night in which Republicans insisted the organization is too aggressive about performing abortions and several Democrats charged that the GOP was waging a “war on women.”
Pence said the amendment captures a rough public consensus that they accept legal abortions, but don't want to pay for them.
He did get House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to weigh in on his side, declaring, “The time has come to respect the wishes of the majority of Americans who adamantly oppose using taxpayer dollars for abortions.”
Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler called the amendment a “bill of attainder”- saying it was unconstitutional as such because the legislation was targeting a specific group.
“[An attainder is] a legislative enacted penalty, in this case no funding, directed at an identifiable person or organization to punish them for something. Article I Section 9 says ‘no bill of attainder or ex post facto should be passed.’ Fundamental foundation of constitutional law. If Planned Parenthood or anyone else is doing terrible things and ought to be punished, that’s up to the courts,” said the California congressman.
A longtime anti-abortion crusader, Pence has three times previously tried to cut off legislative funding, called Title X, for any group that provides abortions.
The money cannot be used to pay for abortions, and Pence has not argued that Planned Parenthood has used the funds to do so.
But he argues that cutting off support for millions of women’s health clinics would cut off their ability to perform the procedure.
“We should end the day when the largest abortion provider is the largest recipient of [Title X] federal funding,” he said.
“What’s clear to me, if you follow the money, you can actually take the funding supports out of abortion. We then have a much better opportunity to move forward to be a society that says yes to life.”
Planned Parenthood estimates it received a quarter of the $317 million in Title X funds appropriated last year. They use the money for pelvic exams, breast exams, safer-sex counseling and basic infertility counseling, among other things.
Pence took his fight against Planned Parenthood to the next level after the release of a series of videos by the group Live Action –videos that they say show Planned Parenthood employees advising actors posing as pimps on information on how to get abortions, STD testing and birth control for their underage prostitutes.
Cantor said last night that Planned Parenthood had been caught “red-handed.”
Anti-abortion Democrat Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts said last night that in spite of his beliefs, he supports the organization.
“This is about the ability of Planned Parenthood to conduct women's health care, to offer services that are deeply needed in many communities where no other source of health care is available…. I don't have many friends in the Planned Parenthood community. They don't support me. I am pro-life. But I respect the good work that they do,” he said.

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This is very, very sad. Hopefully groups liek the National Organization of Women pipes up about this. What's worse is the religious and other pro-lifers will probably be boasting about this until we are sick of hearing it.
If this is the kind of stupid, selfish, short-sighted crap we have to look forward to until the next election, then somebody please kill me right now. I'd rather just be shot in the head than be forced to watch a bunch of self righteouss lunatics turn their outdated, destructive religion into legislation that undermines everything the U.S. is supposed to stand for.

Alright. Now that I've had a few seconds to reign in all my overflowing rage and disgust, I've realized that I'd really rather someone kill them and not me (not really, please don't go out and commit murder. Even if they sort of deserve it).


Anyway, everybody sign this open letter


We have to stand up to these evil motherfuckers and let them know that rational people aren't just going to sit back and put up with their crap.

Thanks for sharing.

Signed and shared as well.

Signed. I don't think there is any way this will pass thru the senate. There is also the veto stamp as a last resort.
Yay for small government. I thought I heard: "Keep your government hands off my healthcare!" somewhere...

it's keep your government hands off my medicare...


close though..


this is priceless!

This is very said indeed, im sorry to say but the healthcare in your country is starting to look like a thirdworld country's healthcare.

I shudder to think about the rape victim who not only is probably traumatized for life but if she is unlucky will also be pregnant AND then will have to pay for that abortion herself, or even worse if she can't pay that has to bring it to full term, OR even a worse nightmare use a needle to do it herself.


But i guess in the vile wormfilled brain of that Pence fool it's all for the good of his imaginary christian nation.

People like that make me really sick and angry.


"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. – Richard Dawkins "



..but it's not enough.

There has to be something more we can do...

I wish as a Canadian I could support this. We are lucky here I suppose because the regional hospitals provide abortions and doctors names are held under strict privacy laws so they don't come under such threat. Maybe a good idea for the U.S. until the movement is quelled?

This is something that might go under the morality section, but... is it wrong to use violence against a group of people who threaten to use violence and have incited people to violence in previous instances?


In regards to this case: Is it morally wrong to use force against the head of Operation Rescue? The guy who's phone number was in the dash of the shooter that killed Dr. Tiller, and is now bragging that Wichitah is "abortion free"? Or do we feel that since he is breaking no law, he is entitled to the very right to life that he wants to strip away, but is too cowardly to do so himself? This kind of thing makes me very angry to the point where I am legitimately asking these questions. I'm going to repost this in that group.

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations. - David Friedman


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