After a controversial secretly-filmed video emerged of a Planned Parenthood representative selling fetal tissue for medical research, the United States became awash with anti-abortion rhetoric leading to the passing of a bill in the House of Representatives that would effectively destroy Planned Parenthood (and prevent women from getting family planning advice and abortions). Obama has threatened to defend the abortion rights of women with a veto.
Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate for the 2016 election, warned republicans not to take advantage of the raw emotion of the Planned Parenthood undercover videos as it would risk hurting the economy of America.
“[The GOP are] pursuing some kind of emotionally, politically-charged partisan attack on planned parenthood to shut our government down.”
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 17, 2015
Mitch McConnell, majority Senate leader, and presidential hopefuls Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and senator Ted Cruz, sponsored the legislation that would see Planned Parenthood lose $540 million in government funding. This latest move is seen as yet another attempt to repeal Roe v Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court decision which gave women the right to get an abortion based on the so-called Trimester System.
(1) Women have “absolute right” to terminate a pregnancy in first three months.
(2) States can regulate abortions in second trimester.
(3) States can restrict or ban abortions in the third trimester, especially at the point the fetus can live outside the womb; however, women can still have “late term” abortions if doctors agree that the women’s life or health is at risk.
Before this landmark ruling, women were dying from unsafe procedures, which they either carried out themselves or were carried out by unqualified abortion providers who used makeshift tools — such as coat hangers — which often killed the mother by causing hemorrhaging and infection. Roe v Wade, and the establishment of Planned Parenthood, was thus seen as the best way to prevent these deaths as it was established before the Supreme Court that a ban on abortion does nothing to stop women from pursuing abortions, only drive them underground, putting their lives at risk.
The accusations against Planned Parenthood are that women are being exploited in a for-profit enterprise which would effectively contradict the ethics of the procedure and, therefore, break the law. Planned Parenthood responded in a statement to CNN.
“These outrageous claims are flat-out untrue, but that doesn’t matter to politicians with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood. Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not attacked and demeaned.”
Despite five U.S. states conducting their own investigations and finding no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, republicans maintain the allegations against Planned Parenthood and have now taken the first step toward reversing Roe v Wade in the passing of the House Defund bill. Despite these efforts, however, the White House has the power to use its veto to overturn the bill and President Obama has vowed to do so, leaving republicans with the job of proving their allegations before enough support could be gained to overcome the veto.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 17, 2015
[Image by Mark Wilson /Getty Images]