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31 March 2017 - Mike Pence breaks tie in Senate vote targeting Planned Parenthood funding

Senate Lets States Defund Clinics That Perform Abortions
Jennifer Steinhauer (The New York Times, 30/03/2017)

Senate Republicans, aided by Vice President Mike Pence and an ailing Georgia colleague who gingerly made his way to the Capitol with the aid of a wheelchair and a walker, voted Thursday to undo an Obama administration rule preventing states from blocking funding for family planning clinics that also provide abortions.

The vote was one of a string of showdowns to reverse Obama-era regulations, but this one unfolded with all the drama of numerous past conflicts over abortion funding — with Mr. Pence casting the tiebreaking vote in his role as president of the Senate.

“Today, Congress is sending a resolution to President Trump ensuring that states are not forced to fund America’s abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, with Title X tax dollars,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a prominent anti-abortion group.

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Breaking Tie
Pence breaks tie to allow states to strip family-planning dollars from abortion providers
Paige Winfield Cunningham (The Washington Post, 30/03/2017)
Senate Republicans were forced to call on Vice President Pence to pass an antiabortion measure Thursday, marking the second time they’ve cast a help line to the new administration to move legislation.

Pence delivered the tiebreaking vote on a resolution reversing an Obama administration rule that prevented states from withholding family-planning dollars from Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortions. The vice president’s appearance in the Senate chamber was needed after two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, defected. No Democrats supported the resolution.

The measure, a priority for groups that oppose abortion, would give a thumbs-up to Tennessee and other conservative states to resume policies blocking Planned Parenthood clinics from getting federal funding through the Title X family-planning program. Those dollars can’t be used for abortions, but conservatives feel abortion providers shouldn’t receive any taxpayer funds.

Defunding Abortion Clinics
Senate passes bill to let states strip funding from Planned Parenthood
Stephen Dinan and Bradford Richardson (The Washington Times 30/03/2017)

With Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, the Senate approved a bill Thursday to let states strip federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood, marking the first successful strike against the country’s largest abortion network.

The bill, which already cleared the House and now heads to President Trump, rolls back an Obama-era rule that said states couldn’t deny family planning money to organizations just because they performed abortions.

While other clinics may be affected, both sides acknowledged the fight was about Planned Parenthood, which has been a target for Republicans in Washington and in state capitals across the country in recent years.

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VP Mike Pence

Pence Won't Eat With Women, But He Can Sure Break A Tie Defunding Their Health
Janet Burns (Forbes, 30/03/2017)

If nothing too grand comes up tomorrow, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence may well have the honor of gaining the most ground this week in the fight to recover women's rights, thanks to a busy few days in the spotlight.

As the New York Times reported, Pence provided the deciding vote on Senate legislation today, making it his second time this year, and allowing the body to pass a bill reversing an Obama-era rule. The law, which kept conservative states from blocking federal funding to health and family planning facilities that offer abortion, was targeted in "one of a string of showdowns to reverse Obama-era regulations, [and] unfolded with all the drama of numerous past conflicts over abortion funding," according to the Times.

Voting against the bill were 48 Senate Democrats and Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who've spoken out against the impact of such measures on low-cost clinics like Planned Parenthood, government costs and facilities, private health infrastructure, and, of course, their millions of patients. They were met, Senator Patty Murray recalled to the Times, with "[a] deafening silence from the group of almost entirely male Republican senators [voting] today to make it harder for women to get health care they need ... Not one spoke today to justify this vote."

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Last update March 31, 2017
Créé le March 31, 2017
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues