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House votes to defund Planned Parenthood

Feb. 18, 2011 at 5:40 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Planned Parenthood would lose $330 million in federal funding under an amendment that passed the U.S. House of Representatives 240-185 Friday.

The measure would cut all federal aid to the organization during the current fiscal year, which ends in September, The Washington Post reported. Federal funds cannot be used for abortion services, but Planned Parenthood gets aid for other services such as cancer screenings and birth-control services.

Seven Republicans crossed party lines to vote against the amendment, while 10 Democrats supported it.

During a 3-hour debate Thursday, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., silenced the House by describing her own experience with abortion. She said she had to terminate a pregnancy because the fetus had moved into the cervix in the 17th week of pregnancy.

Speier said she was moved to talk about the experience after Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., one of the most anti-abortion members of the House, gave a lurid description of abortions. Speier said suggesting women get abortions "cavalierly" is "preposterous."

"There is a vendetta against Planned Parenthood, and it was played out in this room tonight," Speier said. "Planned Parenthood has a right to operate. Planned Parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. Planned Parenthood has a right to offer abortions. Last time you checked abortions were legal in this country."

Planned Parenthood has come under fire since Lila Rose, an anti-abortion activist, released videos she says show the group's employees breaking the law. She arranged for someone posing as a pimp to seek advice on getting abortions for teenagers.

After Speier stopped speaking, there was a long silence in the House, followed by applause from some representatives.

Topics: Mike Pence
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