Planned Parenthood local impact
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The idea that the government might shut down over a measly $530 million says this is not about money.
Some said it’s more about Conservatives wanting control of the Republican Party.
It’s generally accepted that this attempt to defund Planned Parenthood is simply their vehicle and it’s likely to backfire.
Even if Republicans managed to pass a bill, the President would veto it and they don’t have the votes to override or the support of the people, both nationally and locally.
"That funding is critical to our ability to provide reproductive health to the patients in three counties, San Diego, Riverside and Imperial County," said Cita Walsh, vice president of Planned Parenthood, Pacific Southwest.
It provides reproductive services to more than 250 patients per year.
Its revenue for 2013-2014 was $57 million, 61 percent of which is federal title tax dollars, entitlement money that can’t be touched.
The $250 million is discretionary funds which Republicans want to cut.
While it’s not a big number, when spread across more than 700 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, it does impact services.
"Any cuts in funding to a non-profit such as Planned Parenthood would be devastating to the reproductive services that we provide to the patients in the three counties that we have in our territory," Walsh said.
Over the summer, the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-choice group, recorded videos accusing Planned Parenthood employees of profiting from selling fetal organs.
At a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill, Planned Parenthood Chief Cecile Richards denied the accusations.
"The outrageous accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood, based on heavily doctored videos, are offensive and categorically untrue," She said.
Democrat Elijah Cummings called the Republicans hypocritical.
"Especially while these same Republicans ignore CEOs of huge companies that are actually guilty of breaking the law," Cummings said.
Planned Parenthood services include testing for pregnancies, infectious diseases and HIV. They do cancer screenings and breast exams. They distribute contraceptives and provide abortion services.
"This is often the only health care provider that some of our patients go to, so its critical that planned parenthood be here for another 99 years," Walsh said.
As for the video that sparked this debate, Walsh said we’ve been there before and the result will be the same.
"They want to continue their smear campaign. We’ve been through it many years before, an its clear that these are fraudulent, outrageous claims," Walsh said.
There have been 17 government shutdowns since 1976. Eight came while the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, two under Republican control of both Houses.
There were seven shutdowns while Ronald Reagan was president, five under Jimmy Carter.
The longest was 21 days under President Clinton.