After nearly two months of gruesome videos about how Planned Parenthood ‘clinics’ are operating like Tijuana auto chop shops, the GOP leadership says that it can’t muster the votes to defund that murderous criminal conspiracy.
The GOP talks a good game. GOP politicians show up at pro-life functions (provided the right type of people are there) and they fundraise like there’s no tomorrow off their opposition to abortion but when it comes time to take action, what my old man would call ‘nut cutting time’, they are nowhere to be found.
Case in point was the pro-abort women in the GOP caucus (my gosh, you’d think that if anyone would be pro-life it would be an actual woman) led by [mc_name name=’Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’E000291′ ] who scuttled a bill to end late term abortion, something clearly permitted under Roe v. Wade, in order to protect rapists from prosecution. Now that the danger of doing something is safely passed, Ellmers is out touting her opposition to abortion.
This goes on an on because the GOP Congressional leadership doesn’t care about abortion, other than the checks we send to their campaigns, and it gives us a false choice between doing everything (defunding Planned Parenthood) and doing nothing (which is what they do.). The very possible, small steps are ignored because doing them might actually have an impact on abortion.
Take for instance the struggle of some governors to choke off the baby-killing beast from federal dollars. When Bobby Jindal did this recently, the Department of Justice teleported a platoon of lawyers in to Baton Rouge to fight Planned Parenthood’s fight for them.
The U.S. Justice Department sided with Planned Parenthood in its court battle with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) Monday night, telling a federal judge that Jindal lacked “sufficient reasons” to cut off Medicaid funding to the family planning provider.
Last month, Jindal moved to cancel Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract in Louisiana after an anti-abortion group released a series of heavily edited undercover videos that show the organization’s doctors discussing the donation of fetal tissue for medical research after abortions. The 2016 presidential hopeful and other Republicans are claiming the videos show Planned Parenthood engaged in the illegal sale of fetal body parts.
The sad thing is that Bobby Jindal will probably get his ass handed to him by a federal judge. Why? Because federal law specifically allows women on Medicaid to go to any clinic they wish.
Over and over again, courts and the federal government have said the same thing. If Medicaid beneficiaries want to get contraception, checkups, or cancer screenings at a health clinic whose name and practice is also associated with abortion, so be it. (By law, actual abortions receive no federal funding.) In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services actually pulled all Medicaid funds from Texas because Gov. Rick Perry (R) had cut family planning funding for clinics.
This is the conundrum that faces lawmakers—particularly Republicans—returning to Washington next week after more than a month of meeting with constituents. The chorus of protest over videos that detail Planned Parenthood’s supposed sale of fetal organs has caused many conservative lawmakers to demand, campaign style, that Planned Parenthood be punished. The only problem is there is no clear legislative way to do so.
The simplest way would be through the annual appropriations process, though it would require primarily cutting mandatory spending. Most of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from Medicaid, and the large majority of spending in the program for low-income Americans does not fall under the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ purview.
Or, Congress could simply get out of the Medicaid regulation business altogether and let states use their regulatory power to decide who is eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursement. It could even delegate decision on Medicaid eligibility to the states. This kind of change can be attached to bills that can’t be filibustered. So long as there is Obama in the White House and the gutless [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] and [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ] there won’t be a fight but this is not an Obama issue. Under George Bush there were six years in which Planned Parenthood could have been gutted. There was a Republican running HHS. But nothing was done.
Right now we have a golden opportunity to investigate Planned Parenthood into penury. We can attach a stink to Planned Parenthood that will last through the ages. Major research universities have already started to run from fetal tissue research because of the potential fall out. But our GOP leadership is content to do nothing… until it is time for their next fundraising email.