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Obama Vetoes Planned Parenthood Defunding

On January 8, President Obama vetoed H.R. 3762, the Restoring America’s Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act, a bill that makes budgetary changes to various federal programs. The bill would, according to National Right to Life, “block most federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood, and repeal many parts of Obamacare, including the program that provides tax-based subsidies for about 1,000 health care plans that cover elective abortions.”

The bill would cut 89 percent of federal funding for Planned Parenthood and would repeal some major components of Obamacare, including the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which some call the “death panel,” and the “excess benefits tax,” both dangerous mechanisms that will contribute to the rationing of lifesaving care.

The release of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress that showed Planned Parenthood selling body parts of aborted babies fueled the effort to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider.
The House passed a version of the bill in November with 246 votes before the Senate passed its version of the bill in December by 52 votes. (Usually, a bill needs 60 votes to pass, but because of special rules on budget bills, the Senate passed it with 52 votes.)

On January 6, the House voted a second time and, by a vote of 240-181, confirmed changes the Senate made to the bill. Obama’s veto came two days later. Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser explained the significance of the vote, saying “For the first time in 50 years, the president will have to decide up or down on a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood, American’s largest abortion provider. It is the first bill ever to get to the president’s desk that would achieve this long-time pro-life goal.”

Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance called the vote “a monumental moment for the pro-life movement.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) explained, “We have now shown that there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. So, next year, if we’re sending this bill to a Republican president, it will get signed into law.”

The House and Senate are not expected to get the two-thirds vote necessary to override Obama’s veto. The vote is expected the week of February 1.

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