Vice-President Pence broke a tied vote for a controversial bill in the Senate last night that gives states the right to revoke funding for Planned Parenthood. The controversial bill, which seeks to overturn legislation put into place by Barack Obama during his time in office, will have a significant impact on Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide abortion and healthcare services across the country.
• The bill was based on two main factors: one, that Planned Parenthood provides access to abortions, and two, that states shouldn’t be prevented from making their own legislation around the issue. Regardless of whether or not you believe in abortion, it’s difficult to deny that the second portion of this statement may infringe on 10th Amendment rights for states.
• Republican Senator Joni Ernst explained the original legislation as an attempt to “…empower federal bureaucrats in Washington and silence our states.” This is less an issue of individual belief in access to abortion issues and more an issue of rights and freedoms that many believe are slowly being stripped back.
• Pence has been an outspoken right-to-life supporter for years, and is considered a “beacon of hope” to the right-to-life community as a whole. He speaks at rallies and gatherings across the country frequently and is considered a leader by those who seek to ban abortion altogether.
• Detractors say that anti-Planned Parenthood legislation won’t only place women seeking abortions in harm’s way. They also believe it will significantly restrict access to reproductive healthcare across the country, including access to birth control, screening for cancer, and prenatal care for low-income patients. However, most areas do provide access to other low-barrier healthcare options.
• In a statement after the vote, Pence shared his happiness over the outcome. “Life is winning in America. And today is a celebration of the progress that we have made in the cause.”