One of the House Republicans' budget cuts that got the most attention while they were crafting their spending bill for the next six months was the elimination of all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The organization, which provides women's health and family planning services up to and including scary abortions, was obviously a popular target for the Republicans to satisfy their base with. Go to any conservative protest, over health care reform, taxes, Mexicans, whatever, and the anti-abortion folks are always the last ones there, screaming and hollering deep into the night.
So there's no way they'll accept a Senate-crafted budget compromise that keeps Planned Parenthood funding in the end, is there? Because it looks like they may have to.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski had already come out against the Planned Parenthood cuts. It's only $300 million, and it helps to keep ladies (and the occasional dude) healthy during these woeful economic times. Plus, the organization is popular among independents. So these may have been the reasons for Sen. Scott Brown, the popular Massachusetts sex jockey, to join Collins and Murkowski today by announcing his love of and desire to protect Planned Parenthood. From the Boston Globe:
US Senator Scott Brown opposes a House Republican plan to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the womens' health service provider, and today urged budget negotiators to reach a compromise.
"I support family planning and health services for women," Brown, a Bay State Republican, said in a statement. "Given our severe budget problems, I don't believe any area of the budget is completely immune from cuts. However, the proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning goes too far. As we continue with our budget negotiations, I hope we can find a compromise that is reasonable and appropriate."
As Ben Smith notes, the chances are pretty slim for a full defunding of Planned Parenthood to pass the Senate now. Three moderate Senate Republicans have defected, including one guy! Everyone go have a celebratory abortion, right now.
[Image via AP]