Friday, February 18, 2011

House votes to ax funding for healthcare reform and Planned Parenthood

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Planned Parenthood logo

This is turning out to be a sad day for sick and vulnerable people in America. Not only have House Republicans successfully passed a motion to cut down last year’s healthcare reform law (which, in a House dominated by far-Right loons, should come as a surprise to no-one), but they’ve also voted in favor of cutting off federal funding of Planned Parenthood, the preeminent women’s reproductive care provider in the US, over the bogus accusations raised in the recent “sting” hoax videos by James O’Keefe-wannabe anti-abortion zealots. Because, as every faithful religious-Rightist knows, if you can’t get what you want by being honest and appealing to the facts, why not just bullshit your way into getting things done, to the wrong people and for the wrong reasons?

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

WASHINGTON — The House has approved a Republican proposal to block federal aid for Planned Parenthood.

The 240-185 vote on Friday is a victory for anti-abortion forces led by Indiana GOP Rep. Mike Pence. He says taxpayer money should not go to groups that provide or promote abortion.

Of course not. ’Cause that would be legal, as sanctioned by the courts. And it would help thousands and thousands of women who need counsel and crucial medical assistance, and who needs those whiny little baby incubators, anyway? Instead, why not spend millions in that same taxpayer money on, say, sponsoring a NASCAR team? See, now that’s fiscal responsibility for ya.

Now, this may be a grievance, but it’s still unlikely that this motion to cut women off from much-needed family planning and reproductive care will survive the Senate, which is still run by Democrats and is therefore far less likely to take to the bill with approval. With a little luck, this horrible initiative will die before it ever leaves Congress. (Not to mention that there’s even littler chance that President Obama would endorse such legislation, given his temperate but generally pro-abortion rights track record.)

In other words, this is essentially just like what we saw last month when House Republicans passed a “symbolic” anti-healthcare reform bill that saw a quick and ignominious death in the Senate. The GOP is more interested in grandstanding and fanciful rhetoric than it is in actually doing anything of merit. As long as the Senate remains under Democratic control, I think things may still go smoothly enough for the time being, despite the shit-flinging right-wing hordes in the lower echelon of Congress.

(via @BreakingNews and @todayspolitics)