Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
I appreciate a different point of view on the whole PP debate but I think this op-ed is just plain wrong. Democrats had given Republicans huge concessions even though the GOP only holds the House and shouldn't have that amount of negotiating power at the table. The GOP wanted more and more and PP was not something that either Dems could give them or that could pass the Senate. I realize many Republicans object to this policy, but you can't shutdown the government over just that. Democrats never seriously threatened to shut it down under George W. Bush when he had plenty of policies that they found to be highly objectionable on the international, fiscal, environmental, social, and judicial fronts. This story is BS, it was the GOP, not President Obama, that almost shutdown the government over Planned Parenthood, sorry Megan.
Also, let's not forget who brought the issue to the table in the first place. A hint: it wasn't the Democrats.
But considering all the other draconian GOP demands *accepted* by Dems, why was PP a deal breaker?
Dems only lack backbones up to a certain point, TJE.
Up to a certain ideological point? Budgets are about what to fund and what not to fund. This was a natural part of the debate. Obviously Democrats weren't going to start a fight about it if Republicans did not because then they would be able to fund it like they wanted to. Democrats knew that the political backlash of giving up on this would be disastrous so they proved to be more stubborn and ideological on the Planned Parenthood Debate. I just want people to admit that this was a pro-choice vs. pro-life debate not a women's health vs. pro-life debate. Planned Parenthood is the biggest provider of abortions in the country.
Megan, you are wrong. I don't care how many abortions PP provides, the money it gets from the government does not go towards them. It goes towards other procedures that are beneficial to the health of millions of poor women. Period. This funding was created by a Republican president, and has been upheld by Republican Congresses and Presidents for the past 20 years. It had no place in this debate, and even if it had gotten into the budget cutting bill, it could have caused the bill to go down in the senate, where there are more than 40 members who oppose this type of cut. Get over it.
So money is not fungible? Providing money to the biggest abortion clinic in the country does not show any sort of federal support for abortion? The fact that it wouldn't have passed in the Senate shows that Democrats are more idealogical on this issue. You are wrong. Get over it.
There are Republicans in the Senate who wouldn't have gone along with it like Lisa Murkowski and Scott Brown, and your getting completely off topic. This has to do with the budget. PP funding has always been in the budget and if the GOP wants to change that, they should have votes in both parts of Congress, not threaten to shut down the government entirely.Also, how do you think negotiations are supposed to work? Whichever side your on should get absolutely everything that they want all the time, or else they should be able to shut the government down? This is ridiculous Megan. If you end PP funding, yes PP would probably fail. But people could get abortions elsewhere in more unsafe ways and you are completely disregarding this argument. They would also get more abortions because they wouldn't have access to contraception that PP provides. If PP fails, then millions of women are unable to get essential health services. Is that what you want just so people can't get abortions from a single company? That logic doesn't make any sense.
So federal funding can't go to anything that is tangentially related to any ideological issue? What if we were talking about funding for the NRA? I have a feeling you'd be singing a very different tune.Also, how can the Democrats be "more ideological" on this issue? If a bill related to abortion rights were introduced in the House right now, the Republicans would vote it down. I see no difference.
(In response to Megan. I didn't see PBM's comment.)
When we are talking about an issue that more than 50% of Americans ardently oppose, then no I don't think it should receive federal funding. I don't care what happens when Planned Parenthood stops receiving funding. I don't want my tax dollars going to an abortion clinic. Democrats do. Pro-life vs. Pro-choice. Neither of you has offered any argument as to why the Democratic stance is not ideological. If Democrats were so worried about women's health, why can't they find a different way to fund it that does not involve abortions and would not be subject to GOP attacks? Because the Democratic party is linked to the pro-choice movement, and it would hurt them politically to try to do so.
Not pro-life vs. pro-choice. You are trying to stop 2% of PP's business by targeting the other 98%. That doesn't make sense. Also, the money the government provides to PP is to subsidize every procedure they provide other than abortion. So, abortion costs the regular market price there and is not subsidized, therefore, no federal funding is going towards it.And, no Megan, the Democratic party isn't as linked to the pro-choice movement as you believe. It is linked to the poor and to women, both of who PP helps by providing essential health services (98% of their business!!!!!)
First of all, I'd like to point out that that statistic isn't true. 54% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. http://people-press.org/question-search/?qid=1781228&pid=51&ccid=51But sure, I'll agree with you that the Democratic stance is somewhat ideological. They observed a direct and purely ideological attack on a woman's right to choose from the Republicans and pushed back. Obviously, just as the Republicans are linked to the pro-life movement, Democrats are linked to the pro-choice movement.And even though I think removing PP funding will totally backfire because the number of abortions would rise (not to mention that the bill wouldn't pass in the Senate)the Republicans can try all they want to pass a bill to do this. But not in the middle of a budget debate. As I have mentioned previously, this funding has been around for 40 years. Republicans have had all the time in the world to do something about it. What about when they controlled Congress and the presidency? If Democrats had caused a budget standoff over something that aligned more with the right's ideology, I think you would have been outraged. Do you really not see that this was the wrong place, wrong time?
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