Even as the long-game to overturn Roe v. Wade continues through pro-life appointments to the Supreme Court, the GOP is expected to make a push to defund Planned Parenthood next year. Politico reports it’s a matter of when, not if:
“The entire movement is poised for a victory,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an advocacy group that opposes abortion. “We have every assurance [from congressional leaders] that it’s going to happen. Nobody is saying ‘whether,’ the question is ‘when.’”…
Eliminating Planned Parenthood’s approximately $550 million in federal funding — most of it through Medicaid — would be abortion opponent’s most tangible victory since 2007, when the Supreme Court upheld a ban on so-called partial birth abortions.
One possible approach is to attach the defunding of Planned Parenthood to a repeal of Obamacare and pass both items using reconciliation. That would only require a simple majority, though there is disagreement even among GOP Senators about whether a full repeal of Obamacare is possible using this maneuver. No one seems ready to commit to a plan of action yet which is probably wise given the level of push-back it will generate:
Republicans say no final decision has been made about what they’ll do next year, although one GOP congressional aide said that among conservatives “there is an expectation that it will be included in any reconciliation bill.” But if the Obamacare repeal legislation runs into any roadblocks because it includes defunding Planned Parenthood, the provision could be cut.
Naturally, Democrats are prepared to make sure any such effort runs into every possible roadblock. And with the GOP’s narrow advantage in the Senate, it will matter if some GOP Senators refuse to back the plan:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) opposed using the reconciliation tactic to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare in 2015. Another moderate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), supported it. But she also introduced an amendment with Collins to strike the Planned Parenthood provision, indicating that she had reservations about cutting off funding.
As for President-elect Trump, he made clear during the primaries that he is committed to defunding PP because his position on abortion (which he said had evolved over time), but he was also the only Republican who defended the group saying, “millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.” Expect to see this video pop up quite a bit in a few months time as Democrats argue that what is being defunded by the GOP is the parts of PP even Trump supports: