The Good News and the Bad News

[Content Note: War on agency. NB: Not only women need access to reproductive healthcare and abortion.]

The Good News: Senate Republicans lost their bid yesterday to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a Republican-backed effort to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood following the release of undercover videos that raise questions about the practice of harvesting tissue from aborted fetuses for research.

The 53-46 procedural vote fell short of the 60 ayes needed to proceed with a bill that would immediately stop funding for the beleaguered women's health-care provider.

...Democrats have portrayed the move to defund Planned Parenthood as an assault on women's health. Federal funding for abortion, they note, has been outlawed for decades; the bill under consideration in the Senate would block Medicaid reimbursements and federal family-planning grants that support cancer screenings, birth control counseling and other aspects of reproductive health.
Yes, the Democrats "have portrayed the move to defund Planned Parenthood as an assault on" healthcare because that's exactly what it is. Yeesh.

The Bad News: The Democrats managed to eke this one out—with no help from two of their own caucus: Democratic Senators Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia—but it was way closer than it should have been, showing just how endangered abortion rights have truly become, irrespective of the public will, because the Republican Party is intent on its ruination.

Robin Marty:
I know I should be full of joy. Or, if joy is too much of a stretch, maybe at least a smidgen of relief. If I look deep inside, it may even be there. Maybe. After all, President Obama won't be forced to veto the bill, and that's a bright side, especially in an ongoing battle for reproductive health-care access that is seeing fewer victories every day.

Instead, I'm just disheartened. I'm saddened by the loss of support from senators normally considered moderate, especially female senators like Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who literally stood on the floor and said that "the best way to reduce the number of abortions in this country is to ensure that women have access to family-planning services they need to protect against unintended pregnancies."

Then she voted to defund the largest provider of family-planning services in the country.
The Republicans are united against Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile, the Democratic presidential candidates won't even say the word "abortion." We won this one, barely, but I am afraid for our future, y'all. I really am.

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