With Vice President Pence breaking tie, Senate passes anti-Planned Parenthood bill

Apr 3, 2017

By Nicole Gaudiano

WASHINGTON — Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking Senate vote Thursday to pass legislation that will allow states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that perform abortions.

The measure, which now goes to President Trump for his signature, dismisses an Obama-era rule banning states from denying federal funds to such organizations.

Pence’s vote was needed to break a 50-50 tie. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska broke with their party, voting against the measure.

Republicans have said the Obama rule should be overturned to allow states the right to steer funds away from abortion providers, if they choose.

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20 comments on “With Vice President Pence breaking tie, Senate passes anti-Planned Parenthood bill

  • Fundamentalists explain their personal view of an ideal world and what they intend to do to make that ideal world a reality. When they say what they want to do and what they will do – We need to believe them!! Some fundamentalists actually have taken action to bring about that personal view and Pence is one of them. He has a history of public action that clearly shows his intent to push women back into a Biblical hellhole. Barefoot and pregnant, domestic and reproductive servitude. Possessions of men.

    While I am hoping for an immediate impeachment and resignation of our psychopath President Trump, I’m very fearful of the automaton Saint Pence who is poised to take over that position. I do not trust fundamentalists to make decisions based on ethics or any principle of humanism that we secularists hold near and dear. His loyalties are divided and he has very strong backing from every evangelical Christian fundamentalist in this country.

    This political action is just a shot across the bow and there’s plenty more to come.

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  • @OP – WASHINGTON — Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking Senate vote Thursday to pass legislation that will allow states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that perform abortions.

    The measure, which now goes to President Trump for his signature, dismisses an Obama-era rule banning states from denying federal funds to such organizations.

    pass legislation that will allow states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that perform abortions.

    It looks like another job for the courts and the constitutional lawyers!

    If the legal action fails, perhaps Planned Parenthood will need to take a leaf out of the corporate book, and set up a separate agency to deal with abortions independently on referral, as a separate service from family planning etc! – Or they could refer patients to services in other states, which are not dominated by the evangelically deluded!

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  • With respect Alan there are already private providers out there. This is aimed at those who cannot afford these and for who a long journey across states is not option.

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  • mr_DNA #4
    Apr 4, 2017 at 9:19 am

    With respect Alan there are already private providers out there.
    This is aimed at those who cannot afford these and for who a long journey across states is not option.

    It was not my intention to suggest “private providers, but rather to suggest some sort of arrangement similar to companies having subsidiaries, part owned associate companies, or branches in different states.
    This should be looked at, to see if Federal money supporting abortion services in sympathetic neighbouring states could be used to help those who travelled from unsympathetic ones, but without the charitable provider being directly associated with the abortion service as a pretext for religiously deluded state governments withdrawing federal funding from its other contraception and family planning services.

    and for who a long journey across states is not option.

    Unfortunately, apart from organising cheap transport, there is not much which can be done about this as far as I can see.

    I see that this disgraceful anti-health Trump administration (pandering to it’s religinut supporters), has withdrawn US funding from UN family planning services on some lame pretext!

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  • @#5 – I see that this disgraceful anti-health Trump administration (pandering to it’s religinut supporters), has withdrawn US funding from UN family planning services on some lame pretext!


    The US has been warned its decision to withdraw its support from the United Nations Population Fund will be a disaster for the world’s most vulnerable families.

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it will have “devastating effects” for the health of women and girls.

    In total, $32.5m (£26m) will be withdrawn for the 2017 financial year.

    This is the first of the promised cuts to US financial contributions to the UN by the Trump administration.

    The state department justified its decision by saying the Population Fund supports or participates in a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation in China.

    But the Population Fund, which promotes family planning in more than 150 countries, says this is an “erroneous claim”, and that its work does not break any US laws.

    On Tuesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Mr Guterres deeply regretted their decision, adding he believed it was “based on an inaccurate perception of the nature and importance of the work done” by the fund.

    Earlier this year, President Donald Trump reinstated a ban on US funding of any international organisation that provided any kind of abortion service or advice.

    The state department referred to the presidential directive from January and a provision called the Kemp-Kasten Amendment in its statement on Monday.

    What does the UN Population Fund do?

    -. Help women and young people to access sexual and reproductive services, including family planning

    -. Prevent unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions

    -. Support maternal health Programmes in the world’s “most fragile” countries, including Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Somalia

    The UN Population Fund has often been the target of conservative Republican administrations, the BBC’s Nada Tawfik in New York reports.

    Presidents Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W Bush withheld funding for the same reason.

    The Population Fund, like other UN agencies, is funded by governments voluntarily. In 2015, it received $979m in donations, with the US being its fourth-largest donor.

    It all sounds very traditionally Republican – “Guns before health services”!

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  • An infestation of rats.

    — On paper, this is a golden age for the GOP. There are 33 Republican governors, the most since 1922. In 25 states now, Republicans have unified control of the governorship and legislature. Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire joined that club last November when the GOP took over five more House chambers and two more Senate chambers. Today there are 4,195 Republican state legislators, compared to 3,132 Democrats.

    I have a theory, and have been hinting at it lately. My latest take on this: I am not altogether prepared to call Pence a religious man, do not regard him and others like him as fundamentalists, or religious in any conceivable or meaningful sense of the word. There are too many inherent contradictions that rule that out. If pressed, you would be likely to discover that Pence would reveal himself as believing in precisely nothing. He is an empty man, devoid of humanity, of those fundamental humanizing qualities which we call empathy and understanding. Clever, perhaps, in his own way, a tricky man with a good lawyer-type mind. But ultimately a false individual; in short, a kind of human monster. (Laurie used the word Automaton.) We are, I am afraid, dealing with what is, essentially, not a religious problem: we are dealing with despotic, totalitarian and greedy, false men. (Or, yes, evil men.) These crude, war-like, power-seeking types have been with us always and must be exposed and ruined through scandal or voted out by their own constituents when or IF they realize how much we all have to lose. No compromise is possible.

    Religion is a mask for something else, or an actual delusion. We give the word religious too much status. When Pence talks about his love of the unborn there is no love that he feels; and even if there were why should We the People care? Hopefully, as time goes by, and if we survive extinction, religious people will be marginalized here in the US; and it will be harder for a self-proclaimed Christian to enter politics then, at that future time, as it is for an openly non-theistic person to do so now, at the present time.

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  • P.S. My comment above is inadequate as is all too often the case.

    Maybe that sexist automaton really is a fundamentalist. I have no idea what that really means. In any case, religion, we can all agree, has a tranquilizing affect on the people, is an effective and manipulative way of gaining support (and power).

    “We’ve got an agreeable, comfortable life here as Americans. But under it there’s a huge, free-floating anxiety. Our inner lives, our inner landscape is just like that sky out there — it’s full of smog. We really don’t know what we believe anymore, we’re nervous about everything.” —Mailer

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  • Dan
    Here are two definitions that are useful. When it comes to religiosity of Pence, you know the old saying, if it walks like a duck, etc. In the working definition of delusion below, note that it gives a free pass to delusions that are of a religious nature. I hope I live to see the day when this exemption is taken out of the DSM. If people like Pence are so indoctrinated that they have an invisible friend in the sky who alters the laws of nature in their favor and communicates to them and controls various aspects of their behavior then I say that’s a delusional person and they need help. I have no reason to believe that Pence is faking his piety. I think he bought it lock, stock and barrel. But there’s no conflict with being a delusional fundamentalist and being a power hungry greedy control freak. I’m afraid of these people. They’re dangerous.


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    For other uses, see Fundamentalism (disambiguation).
    Fundamentalism usually has a religious connotation that indicates unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs.[1] However, fundamentalism has come to be applied to a tendency among certain groups—mainly, though not exclusively, in religion—that is characterized by a markedly strict literalism as it is applied to certain specific scriptures, dogmas, or ideologies, and a strong sense of the importance of maintaining ingroup and outgroup distinctions,[2][3][4][5] leading to an emphasis on purity and the desire to return to a previous ideal from which advocates believe members have strayed. Rejection of diversity of opinion as applied to these established “fundamentals” and their accepted interpretation within the group is often the result of this tendency.[6

    A delusion is a belief that is held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.

    Although non-specific concepts of madness have been around for several thousand years, the psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers was the first to define the three main criteria for a belief to be considered delusional in his 1913 book General Psychopathology.[1] These criteria are:

    certainty (held with absolute conviction)
    incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)
    impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre, or patently untrue)[2]

    Furthermore, when a false belief involves a value judgment, it is only considered a delusion if it is so extreme that it cannot be, or never can be proven true. For example: a man claiming that he flew into the sun and flew back home. This would be considered a delusion,[3] unless he were speaking figuratively, or if the belief had a cultural or religious source.

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  • Laurie

    Yeah, he’s a religious nut job. Agreed.

    But… it’s hard to understand how someone can be a “fundamentalist Christian” and be so indifferent to the suffering of the downtrodden. That is anathema to everything that the Jesus of the Bible taught. Could it be that he suffers from religious delusions but is not religious? What does “religious” in this context (or any context) really mean? It could be that he is not pious. No one knows. It would be interesting to probe his mind. You might find that he is not religious at all, and that, in fact, no one is!

    Sorry if I am not a hundred percent clear. I am just raising some philosophical questions and admit to being a bit perplexed, and I am grappling with these terms we use, like “religious” and “pious”.

    But we can agree that the man is a fanatic and absolutely delusional – and that the DSM should be updated. But not all religious people are delusional; they are indoctrinated; there’s a subtle difference (I think).

    (We haven’t talked in a while. How’ve you been? Love all your comments. My poor mother has a bad case of the flu right now. She doesn’t believe in flu shots.)

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  • @OP – Republicans have said the Obama rule should be overturned to allow states the right to steer funds away from abortion providers, if they choose.

    It seems US religious bigots are also funding attacks on abortion services in Europe, but many European states will have none of it!


    Ellinor Grimmark’s legal complaint has been repeatedly rejected

    A Swedish court has ruled against a midwife in a dispute over her refusal to carry out abortions.

    Ellinor Grimmark argued that her Christian beliefs made it impossible for her to carry out abortions and that it was unfair to be turned down for jobs in Joenkoeping because of that.

    But the labour court ruled that she had not suffered discrimination. It said the authorities had not violated her “freedom of opinion and expression”.

    US Christians have backed Ms Grimmark.

    The US Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a partner of her legal team – Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers.

    Don’t religious bigots love to assert their opinionated freedumb, to dogmatically interfere in other people’s lives! They don’t get it, that they can’t expect to be employed in a job they can’t or won’t do!

    The labour court ruling on Wednesday defended Joenkoeping region’s right to require midwives to carry out abortions.

    In 2015 a district court rejected Ms Grimmark’s discrimination complaint. But she then decided to sue the regional health authority.

    In the long-running case Sweden’s discrimination ombudsman also ruled against her.

    Ms Grimmark says she will take her case to the European Court of Human Rights. It cannot overrule Sweden’s courts, but if it finds a violation it can order a compensation payment.

    The Svenska Dagbladet daily says she now has a legal bill of about 1.5m kronor (£136,000; $170,000).

    Sweden’s Health Professionals – an association of midwives and other medics – welcomed the court decision.
    Its vice-president Ann Johansson said “people seeking care should not have to think about your own opinions”.

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  • Backwardness on health care is really ruling America now – even worse than before!


    At least 13 states have taken action to withhold funds from the family-planning healthcare provider

    US President Donald Trump has signed a new measure aimed at rolling back federal funding for the US women’s health group Planned Parenthood.

    The legislation removes an Obama-era rule that prohibited states from withholding funding for family planning services that provide abortions.

    A Republican-led Congress passed the measure last month with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote.

    Republicans have long vowed to defund the group over the issue of abortions.

    Planned Parenthood, a reproductive health organisation, provides birth control, STD testing, cancer screenings, breast examinations and pregnancy terminations.

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  • I was watching Pence just now giving a speech in South Korea. He was talking to our “brave men and women in uniform”. That guy is so irritating. He’s vacant. He’s like an automaton, reading his stupid prepared speech and making his corny jokes and praising the Easter sermon. Disgusting man. That narrow-minded, delusional freak talked about North Korea’s recent test, and how “provocative” it was, after sending the foolish (duped and dispossessed) soldiers their “Commander-in-Chief’s” well wishes. (Who would want to be a soldier for the US now?) “President Trump cares so deeply about you,” he said.

    I have a strong feeling that we are going to bomb North Korea. What the hell is Pence doing in Korea anyway, saying goodbye? The soldiers stationed there would the first to go if we launched an attack against N. Korea.

    North Korea will use their nuclear weapons.

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  • Dan #15
    Apr 16, 2017 at 5:50 am

    That narrow-minded, delusional freak talked about North Korea’s recent test, and how “provocative” it was, after sending the foolish (duped and dispossessed) soldiers their “Commander-in-Chief’s” well wishes.

    The whole Koran situation arises from the Korean war decades ago, where Western powers were clearly the enemies of the North Korean people. The North Koreans have also been subject to “sanctions” aka. economic warfare since.
    N Korea was on Bush’s hit list of “axis of evil” (aka communist) states, some of which have been gratuitously subjected to foreign funded rebellions and military attacks.

    It is laughable to suggest that the tiny isolated state North Korea is a serious threat to America, but unsurprising that when persistently threatened with US military exercises on their southern border, they have sought to acquire deterrent weapons, and built up their defences against invasion!

    When the USA elects reckless idiots who threaten other states, and puts them in charge of a massive arsenal of high tech weapons, is it really a surprise that others take threats seriously in the face of a “guns before welfare policy” with increased military spending!

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  • Perhaps North Korea don’t want a Trump-style welfare system, or a government of “deal-makers” who like US slush-funds or Trump style undisclosed business activities to fund millionaire life styles!


    Ousted South Korean president Park Geun-hye has been formally charged in a corruption scandal that led to her impeachment.

    Prosecutors say the charges she faces include bribery, coercion, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.

    The 65-year-old, who is in custody, is accused of allowing close friend Choi Soon-sil to extort money from companies in return for political favours.

    Both women deny the charges. Ms Park was removed from office last month.

    She lost her presidential immunity and was dismissed from her post when the constitutional court upheld a decision by parliament in December to impeach her.

    Ms Choi is accused of using her presidential connections to put pressure on companies to give millions of dollars in donations to non-profit foundations she controlled.

    Ms Park is alleged to have been personally involved in this, and to have given Ms Choi unacceptable levels of access to official documents.

    Those companies include the country’s largest group, Samsung. Its acting head Lee Jae-yong and Ms Choi are in the same detention centre as Ms Park awaiting trial.

    Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin was also charged with bribery on Monday, but prosecutors did not detain him. Both Samsung and Lotte deny wrongdoing.

    Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is loyal to Ms Park, is now the acting president and an election is to be held by 9 May.

    Perhaps another situation which needs a smoke-screen of distracting diversions, in view of the somewhat analogous Whitehouse connections to Trump family members, and Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns!

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  • There is so much insensibility from America (I am talking generally, because I know there are some good people there also) towards other people in other countries. In this case N.Korea. I do not remember anyway why America wants to destroy that country, but I do not need ideology to know that America had to mind they own bussines and N.Korea is not their bussines. Of course there is whole propaganda apparatus to convince Americans and rest of the world how infact America has a right to bully N.Korea (and whoever comes to their mind for that matter). I think that most of the people in America who are following politics (superficially or not) are buying what their government are serving them and watch their involvement like some sort of show on tv. Like other people lives do not matter (for example those in N. Korea). Of course I know that goal of propaganda is to dehumanize “enemy” (N.Korea) in order to facilitate killings. But I think people in America should do more than just watch what their governments are doing to others. And, yes, it would sound insensitive from my part, but yes I would like that N.Korea use their nuclear weapon (if they have them at all) against them, so at least someone have guts to response to that American politics that is killing masses and masses of inocent people around the world!

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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39704840

    Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka was met with groans as she defended her father’s attitude towards women at the G20 women’s summit in Berlin.

    The First Daughter was taking part in a panel discussion about female entrepreneurs alongside German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

    But the audience bristled at her praise for the US president.

    The event is part of the G20 women’s summit.

    An audible groan went up as she told the room her father was a “tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive”.

    The groans of reality sounded when false news was presented as an authoritative statement!
    Thank goodness the audience was critical and weren’t going to be politically correctly polite and give undue respect to lying or delusional claims!

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  • If I hear that selfish spoiled brat Ivanka say just one more time that her father is Sooooo supportive of women and family values!!! Grrrr. Look who has been invited into high levels of our so called supportive government –

    From Slate.com by Christina Cauterucci

    In an apparent continuation of his plan to run the executive branch by the laws of Opposite Day, Donald Trump will appoint a woman who believes birth control is a sham to lead the federal government’s largest family-planning program. Politico reported on Monday that Teresa Manning will be named the Department of Health and Human Services’ deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, putting her in charge of more than $286 million in Title X family-planning grants.

    Manning has a history of spreading lies about reproductive science and advocating against women’s access to health care. Like another one of Trump’s HHS picks, Charmaine Yoest, Manning insists against established medical fact that abortion causes breast cancer. “The link between abortion and breast cancer is now undisputed,” Manning wrote in 2000, paraphrasing a bogus scientist who’s devoted his life to exposing an imagined conspiracy between abortion providers and every major cancer research organization. “Reports of physical injuries and deaths at clinics are already alarmingly common,” she continued.

    The editor of a book called Back to the Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-Life Movement, Manning has called abortion “legalized crime” and family planning “something that occurs between a husband and a wife and God” that “doesn’t really involve the federal government.” At a stop on her book tour in 2003, she told WBUR that “contraception doesn’t work” because “its efficacy is very low,” so sexually active women who use a birth control method might still get pregnant.

    By putting Manning—who doesn’t believe birth control works or that the government has any role in helping people prevent pregnancy—in charge of the government program that helps people prevent pregnancy with birth control, Trump is signaling his intention to dismantle the program entirely, as House Republicans have repeatedly tried to do.
    As a former National Right to Life Committee lobbyist and Family Research Council analyst, Manning has written that “destruction of a human life” is “a major, if not dominant, mechanism” of emergency contraception and edited a paper that asks, “Considering that the effects of abortion are very similar to the effects of rape, is abortion a healthy solution for the pregnant rape victim?” She has accused the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a coalition of nearly 60,000 U.S. doctors and one of the most reliable sources of research and analysis on women’s health, of being deceitful and in the pocket of the “abortion industry.” She’s also argued that doctors can’t be trusted to decide whether a pregnant woman needs an abortion to preserve her health, because they have a financial incentive to get paid for performing the procedure, creating a “conflict of interest.”

    More than 4 million low-income and uninsured people benefit from Title X grants every year. The sole federal program dedicated exclusively to family planning, Title X provides about 10 percent of publicly-funded family planning services in the U.S., second only to Medicaid’s 75 percent. Without the continued smart application of Title X’s current $286.6 million budget, those 4 million patients may experience an interruption in their access to contraception, leading to an increase in rates of unplanned pregnancies.

    In her new role, Manning will advise HHS Secretary Tom Price, a vocal opponent of birth-control access, on issues like teen pregnancy, which is currently on a steep decline thanks to improved access to contraception. Teen girls and low-income women will be the ones who suffer unwanted pregnancies because of Trump’s decision to stack the nation’s federal health agency with people who plug their ears and close their eyes to doctors, scientists, and medical research. By putting ideology over health care, Trump is ensuring that his federal government treats women like reproducing machines instead of human beings.


    This is an outrage.

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