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Senate’s Stupid Attempt to Defund Planned Parenthood Will Fail Fabulously

A bill that would repeal Obamacare is going to be vetoed as soon as it reaches the White House.

Photo via Flickr user Jason Taellious

In the Senate’s grand tradition of making policy decisions that everybody hates and negatively impact women’s lives, they voted this morning on a bill that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, an institution that provides vital healthcare services to both women and men who can’t afford it. But a small minority of idiots have somehow convinced a majority of men in positions of power that it’s nothing more than an abortion factory.


Luckily for the rest of us, their vote is a largely symbolic one that will curry favor with their constituents but will be vetoed as soon as it hits Obama’s presidential desk.

The GOP knows this. The entire charade is an attempt to drum up support for the party in the upcoming elections. As Jim Newell points out in Slate, the legislation is simply a messaging bill.

“The message here is to clarify to Republican voters, ahead of the presidential election, that all they need to eliminate the ghastly scourge of expanded access to medical care is a new, conservative butt in the Oval Office swivel chair,” he writes.

So while the vote is an impotent one, policy-wise, it’s instrumental toward another aim: to shift the conversation. The fact that bills like this make their way to the Senate at all, and that a group of elected officials deem them worthy of a vote, validates these positions within public discourse. We shouldn’t be talking about defunding Planned Parenthood at all, but the GOP has managed to introduce that notion into the political consciousness, to suggest that it might be possible in the future.