House Speaker Paul Ryan: Congress plans to defund Planned Parenthood in 2017

Soon after the election, Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, was asked about his position on defunding Planned Parenthood. “We’ve already shown what we believe with respect to funding Planned Parenthood. We put a bill on President Obama’s desk in reconciliation. Our position has not changed,” he answered.

As if in confirmation of this statement, Ryan announced on Thursday he plans to move forward with defunding the abortion giant. Ryan’s plan includes defunding Planned Parenthood in a reconciliation bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Doing so by reconciliation means that those opposed can’t launch a filibuster, and that 60 votes are not needed in the Senate, as The Hill reported, adding:

The reconciliation bill that Republicans passed as a test run last year cut off funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.

Defunding Planned Parenthood is a major priority for anti-abortion groups. Including it in the repeal bill could cause a problem for some centrists like Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), though.

The referenced bill sent to President Obama last year was vetoed, though it was still a historic move that both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate had voted to defund Planned Parenthood. President-Elect Donald Trump has spoken about repealing ObamaCare and has made it a campaign promise to sign legislation defunding Planned Parenthood.

The House had voted to defund Planned Parenthood several times, beginning when now Vice President-Elect Mike Pence was still a representative.

ObamaCare has raised concerns among pro-lifers, namely because it funds abortions and mandates that employers pay for insurance plans that cover employees’ contraception, including those which can act as abortifacients. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of companies such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods who did not wish to provide certain types of contraception, though the Obama administration has continued to attempt to skirt the ruling with “compromises” which imply that freedom of religion or conscience does not apply to those who are in business to make a profit. As was recently reported, a federal judge also prevented an ObamaCare policy from taking effect. The policy would have required abortion coverage.

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