Blog Post

Obama to Veto Planned Parenthood Defunding Bill

capitolCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood; but should it pass, President Barack Obama has already vowed to veto it, thus setting the stage for a new battle ahead.

According to, S.B. 1881 is scheduled to be voted upon at 5:30 this evening. Sponsored by Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, the bill would defund Planned Parenthood and redirect the more than $500 million in funds to local, state and federal health care centers throughout the country.

“As a mother and grandmother, I find this footage of Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies morally reprehensible and vile,” said Senator Ernst about the recently released undercover videos that show Planned Parenthood doctors discussing pricing for aborted baby parts. “The American people are horrified by these videos as well. Simply put, this legislation ensures that funding for women’s health is protected and that taxpayer dollars will not go to Planned Parenthood.”

Pro-abortion lawmakers are determined to fight back and are expected to filibuster the bill, which will force Senate Republicans to come up with 60 votes to invoke cloture and end debate on the measure. This won't be possible because two Republicans - Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) have indicated that they will oppose the bil, it's not expected to pass. In addition, Democratic Senator Bob Casey, who claims to be pro-life, has also said that he will oppose the bill.

However, even if the bill manages to pass, the White House has already said that the President will veto it.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that any measure that stripped funding from Planned Parenthood “would certainly be something that would draw a presidential veto.”

But that doesn’t mean the goal to defund Planned Parenthood is unreachable. Most expect that an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood will be attached to a must-pass bill in the future, such as on a treaty with Iran or a highway bill, and thereby hold that legislation “hostage” until the other side caves (assuming our side doesn’t cave first).

Some have even gone so far as to suggest we attach it to a crucial government funding bill and force another "government shut down" showdown on the Hill.

In the meantime, others, such as the National Catholic Register's Rebecca Hamilton, are suggesting that the bill be written much more carefully to ensure that it really is stripping Planned Parenthood of all funding and redirecting those funds to other health care centers.

In the meantime, we need to pray for the lawyers who will be arguing a critical appeal in court today for the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Judge William H. Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, who bundled more than $200,000 for the president’s election campaign, issued a temporary restraining order on Friday afternoon preventing the CMP from releasing any more of the videos which show Planned Parenthood discussing the procurement and sale of fetal baby parts. The suit was brought by the National Abortion Federation charging that the release of further videos would cause irreparable injury to the abortionists they represent.

The battle won’t be over today, which means we must all get prepared to continue to do what we do best – fight on.

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