With the incoming Trump administration and full control of Congress, the GOP is going to be spending 2017 collecting heads. While Obamacare is likely to be the first trophy, Planned Parenthood is also on top of the endangered species list, and there's precisely zero that Democrats can do to save either.
Congressional Republicans are aiming to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood early next year, according to GOP sources on and off the Hill, as social conservatives press for a milestone win under Donald Trump's presidency after years of thwarted attempts to defund the health care group.
Although the Senate passed a budget bill in late 2015 that eliminated federal money for Planned Parenthood and also repealed Obamacare, President Barack Obama vetoed the measure in early January. But with Trump in the White House next year, conservatives say it's just a matter of time before a defunding bill becomes law.
“The entire movement is poised for a victory,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, an advocacy group that opposes abortion. “We have every assurance [from congressional leaders] that it’s going to happen. Nobody is saying ‘whether,’ the question is ‘when.’”
If successful, this latest push would be the single biggest victory for anti-abortion groups in years, and likely the first step in a broader agenda aimed at sharply curtailing abortion procedures. Federal law already bars Planned Parenthood from using taxpayer funds for abortions; the group uses the money for family planning and other health services. But anti-abortion groups insist the funding facilitates abortion by freeing up other funds for abortion services.
After Planned Parenthood, advocates are expected to take aim at banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy and making the Hyde amendment — which bans the use of federal money for abortions — permanent. But even with Republicans in control of all the levers of government, those goals face much longer odds. At the same time, they're going to be marshaling forces to help ensure the confirmation of a conservative Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia, who died in February.
More immediately, Republicans and their allies are considering a procedure early next year that would neuter Democratic resistance before it's even begun. Anti-abortion advocacy groups are lobbying Republicans to make the defunding provision part of an Obamacare repeal and pass the whole thing using a fast-track budget procedure that would block any Democratic filibuster. Using that so-called budget reconciliation procedure would mean Republicans could have the package on Trump's desk within weeks of his inauguration.
So yeah, once the ball gets rolling on this, it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, to stop. Voters effectively handed the keys over to America's drunk asshole of an uncle, and he's going to do everything he can to wreck the place again and again and again.
Remember how Texas cutting off the state's Planned Parenthood condemned the state to the worst infant mortality rate in the developed world and will be forcing women to pay to bury or cremate fetal tissue from a miscarriage or abortion procedure starting next month?
Expect that nationally. The war on women is just about over, guys.