US votes to defund Planned Parenthood over abortion scandal

US lawmakers have voted to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business, which has been caught selling aborted babies and their body parts.

The Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed a bill to defund the controversial organisation after the scandal emerged.

“Women have the most to gain from congressional action to reroute these tax dollars to community and rural health centres, which provide comprehensive health care services to women, but do not abort the lives of unborn children and harvest their body parts,” said the pro-life political action committee the Susan B. Anthony List.

Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life of America, said “we fully support reallocating Planned Parenthood’s Title X funding to the 13,000 community health centres and rural health care clinics”.

Vote margin

The House passed the Planned Parenthood de-funding bill on a 240-189 vote margin with all but seven Republicans voting for the bill and only one Democrat willing to vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

The act is a budget reconciliation bill that temporarily blocks any funding to Planned Parenthood while the House investigates the abortion provider.

Planned Parenthood gets more than $500million (€454million) in public funds per year but has been at the centre of controversy following the release of videos showing the group’s involvement in the sale of foetal body parts to medical researchers.

At the weekend, House Speaker John Boehner announced the members of a special panel to investigate Planned Parenthood.

The vote comes after hackers posted online new footage of shocking Planned Parenthood videos that the Centre for Medical Progress has not had a chance to release to the public but that have been provided to a Congressional committee investigating Planned Parenthood.

The National Right to Life Committee welcomed the defunding. In a statement the organisation said: “Over one-third of all abortions in the US are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities.

“Longstanding objections to the massive federal funding of PPFA have been reinforced by recent widely publicised undercover videos, which illuminate the callous brutality that occurs daily in these abortion mills,” NRLC added.

The 10th video by the Centre for Medical Progress features several top-level Planned Parenthood executives discussing the organisation’s secretive practices around aborted foetal parts harvesting. The video includes comments from Deborah VanDerhei, the national director of the organisation’s Consortium of Abortion Providers, describing the harvesting of foetal body parts as “donation for remuneration”.