(CNSNews.com) - The deal on federal spending that House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) cut with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) and President Barack Obama late Friday night permits federal funding to continue for Planned Parenthood, a group that does an average of 910 abortions per day.
The Boehner-Obama deal includes a provision for a symbolic vote in the U.S. Senate on a stand-alone bill that would specifically prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Shortly after the deal was sealed, however, both the New York Times and the Associated Press reported that this stand-alone Planned Parenthood defunding measure was certain to lose in the Senate.
"The abortion opponents lost on their effort to restrict money going to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers as part of the budget deal,” the Times reported. “But they succeeded in winning agreement for a separate vote on that issue next week--Senate Democrats are sure to defeat it--and in keeping in the budget deal a provision that would restrict abortion financing in Washington."
"They also sidetracked their demand to deny federal funds to Planned Parenthood,” reported the Associated Press. “Under the accord, the issue will come to a vote in the Senate under terms guaranteed to end in its defeat."
Why is the Planned Parenthood defunding measure certain to lose as a stand-alone bill in the Senate? A congressional source tells CNSNews.com that under the deal struck last night, the normal Senate filibuster rule will still apply to the Planned Parenthood defunding bill. Unless 60 senators support a procedural measure to close debate on the bill and bring it up for a final vote on whether to actually pass it or not, it will be defeated—even if it could win 51 votes on final passage.
In February, the House voted 240-185 to approve an amendment to a bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal that would have specifically prohibited funding of Planned Parenthood—but, in negotiations, Speaker Boehner conceded to Democratic demands that this amendment not be included in the final spending deal.
Among the things the House Republican leadership gave up last night on the Planned Parenthood funding question is the leverage they might have had over opponents of the provision had they forced them to choose whether or not they were willing to shutdown other government programs just to insure that the nation’s largest abortion provider continued to be funded by U.S. taxpayers.
Another thing they lost is that in voting for the short-term government funding bill that passed the House early Saturday morning and for the longer-term bill that will come up next week, Republicans will be voting for a federal spending law that permits federal tax dollars to go to the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Members who vote for these spending bills will be saying there were other things they achieved by voting for them that were more important to them than defunding an organization that terminates an average of 910 human lives per day.
According to a fact sheet released by Planned Parenthood last month, the group did 332,278 abortions in 2009. That equals an average of 910 abortions per day—or about 38 per hour, or one every 95 seconds.
Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report, meanwhile, says that the group received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts in its fiscal year that ended in June 2009. Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Tait Sye recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that 90 percent of that $363.2 million came directly from the federal government or from Medicaid, a federal-state program. Thus, Planned Parenthood received about $326.88 million from federal programs in 2009.
Though the hundreds of millions in federal tax dollars Planned Parenthood receives annually theoretically are not supposed to be used to pay for the hundreds of thousands of abortions the group does each year, the fact remains that the approximately $326.88 million Planned Parenthood received from federal programs in 2009 equaled about $932 per abortion it performed.
If Planned Parenthood in 2011 maintains its self-reported 2009 pace of 910 abortion per day, it can be expected to terminate 5,460 lives in the six days from Saturday to Thursday, when the government will be operating under the short-term funding bill passed this morning and before it is expected to take up the longer-term funding bill at the heart of the Boehner-Obama deal cut late Friday night.
The Boehner-Obama deal that the House is now set to vote on by Thursday will cover federal spending for the 170 days that will remain in the fiscal year as of that point. At its 2009 pace of 910 abortions per day, Planned Parenthood would terminate 154,700 lives via abortion during those 170 days.