Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pledged this week to fast-track a bill defunding Planned Parenthood. But the move to strip the organization of some $528 million in annual funding from the federal and state governments is more than a little ironic.
It was about Planned Parenthood, after all, that the then number two ranking Senate Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona acknowledged his 30-fold error that “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does” is related to abortion introduced the “not intended to be a factual statement” defense into the GOP lexicon. As Texas Governor Rick Perry learned the hard way in 2012, defunding the women’s healthcare group would have tripled expenses for his state. (As the Guttmacher Institute explained, “every dollar spent on publicly funded family planning services saves $7.09 in public expenditures.) And Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, hadn’t
previously been pro-choice and a donor to Planned Parenthood; his company Bain Capital profited from investments in a medical waste firm that, among other things, disposed of fetal tissue.
Oh, and one other thing. In 1993, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and current Planned Parenthood foes like Orrin Hatch (R-UT) voted for the bill which legalized the use of fetal tissue for medical research.
As Huffington Post reported:
In 1988, the Reagan administration began a moratorium on fetal tissue from elective abortions being used in scientific research. But Congress lifted that ban in 1993 when it passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, which allowed research on human fetal tissue regardless of whether the tissue came from a voluntary abortion. McConnell voted for that bill, as did Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), all of whom have condemned Planned Parenthood in the past two weeks for its involvement in the practice.
That bill, which passed the House by 283 to 131 and the Senate by a whopping 93 to 4, also included the backing of Orrin Hatch (R-UT). But Hatch, among the first in the Senate to call for an investigation of Planned Parenthood in the wake of the doctored videos released by anti-abortion foes, has a good reason for supporting research using fetal tissue. That rare commodity among congressional Republicans, Senator Orrin Hatch supports stem cell research.
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