The U.S. Senate approved H.R. 3762 on Thursday, marking the first time in history both the House and the Senate have agreed to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s also the first time since the signing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that the two chambers have both agreed on language to repeal the law’s mandates and provisions.
Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
While President Obama is expected to veto this bill when it hits his desk, it is evident that there is now widespread support for both the defunding of Planned Parenthood and also the repeal of Obamacare. If a candidate more sympathetic to these causes wins the presidency next year, there’s a very real chance that these changes could become reality.
Opponents are likely to mark this bill as an attack on women’s healthcare, however, it is important to note that the bill doesn’t remove any funding from women’s healthcare. Provisions in the bill redirect funding that was going to Planned Parenthood to clinics that provide a much higher level of care and offer more services than Planned Parenthood does.
Because of the bill’s structure as a “reconciliation bill,” it was not subject to filibusters by opponents. You can read more about reconciliation bills here.