By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The US Senate could vote as early as today on legislation that would strip Planned Parenthood of over $500 million a year in Federal grants and funding to provide health care services to women. All of that money would go elsewhere to continue to provide those non-abortion related services to women. The nation’s largest abortion provider has been rocked by a series of undercover videos made by a group that staunchly opposes the practice and is alleging that Planned Parenthood is trafficking in fetal body parts for profits, allegations that Planned Parenthood had denied.
US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) has co-sponsored the legislation which was introduced by Senator Joni Earnst (R-Iowa). Senator Shelby said in a statement, “I’m proud to join the efforts in the Senate to #DefundPlannedParenthood by cosponsoring S1881 today. This bill prohibits Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any of its affiliate organizations while protecting federal funding for health. services for women.”
Planned Parenthood told the Alabama Political Reporter that the videos by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) is an extremist group that has heavily edited the tapes to mislead the public.
The President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Staci Fox said, “Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our patients, which is why we are standing strong and calling this latest attack what it is – part of a decade-long campaign to deceive the public, make false charges, and terrorize women and their doctors, all in order to ban abortion and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood.”
CMP says that there are six more tapes to come.
Members of Congress are calling for a full Federal investigation into the allegations that Planned Parenthood traffics illegally in fetal body parts an allegation which Planned Parenthood denies.
Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said in a statement, “The videos distributed by the Center or Medical Progress provide strong evidence that Planned Parenthood may have broken federal law by selling fetal body parts for profit. If this is the case, the entities that purchased the fetal organs and tissue may have also violated federal law. Consequently, the investigation goes beyond Planned Parenthood. We are calling for an independent counsel to ensure an impartial and thorough investigation is conducted.”
Abortion opponents are lobbying the Senate to pass S881. If passed by both Houses of Congress, President Barack Obama (D) is expected to veto the legislation.
Sen. Richard Shelby is Alabama’s senior Senator.
Sen. Shelby was first elected to the Senate in 1986.