Planned Parenthood Still Funded and under Investigation; Pain-Capable Bill Only Protects Some Babies
This week the Senate failed to even take a vote on the Graham-Cassidy reconciliation bill. As a result, the bill will expire tomorrow (9/30) and Planned Parenthood will continue receiving its taxpayer money. There’s now virtually no chance of defunding Planned Parenthood in 2017.
In a more positive development this week, the Center for Medical Progress reports that, in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI Office of Congressional Affairs stated: "We can confirm the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) of FBI Headquarters received your referrals and sent them to the relevant FBI field offices for review and whatever action is deemed appropriate." The referrals referenced are from congressional investigations into Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts business. Although the FBI does not issue statements in ongoing investigations, this short statement at least confirms that the referrals were received and an investigation, where appropriate, has begun. The congressional investigations referred the following for possible criminal investigations: Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Planned Parenthood Los Angeles; Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest; Planned Parenthood Northern California; Planned Parenthood Mar Monte; StemExpress, LLC; Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.; and Novogenix Laboratories, LLC.
Finally, there is much hype in pro-life news these days about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR 36). The Congressional Research Service of the U.S. Congress provides the following summary of the bill:
- This bill amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more.
- A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.
- The bill provides exceptions for an abortion: (1) that is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, or (2) when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. A physician who performs or attempts to perform an abortion under an exception must comply with specified requirements.
- A woman who undergoes a prohibited abortion may not be prosecuted for violating or conspiring to violate the provisions of this bill.
Because of the exceptions in the bill, American Life League does not support it.