Deal curbs D.C. abortions, includes other social issues
||Saturday, April 9, 2011
||Carrie Budoff Brown
President Barack Obama said the budget negotiations weren’t the place to deal with contentious social issues — but the agreement doesn’t completely sidestep abortion.
Democrats beat back Republican attempts to cut funding for women’s health services, including for organizations like Planned Parenthood.
But Democrats did agree to ban the District of Columbia from using federal and local taxpayer funds on abortions — a move already being cheered by abortion opponents as a noteworthy victory.
The deal also includes a guarantee that the Senate will vote on bill that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, according to a House Republican summary.
Such a bill is unlikely to make it through the Senate, but the vote will put moderate Democrats and Republicans, particularly those facing tough reelections next year, on the spot.
“The Speaker said repeatedly he was going to fight for the most policy provisions – and most spending cuts – possible and he did,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Speaking from the White House late Friday, Obama suggested the agreement didn’t deal with abortion.
“We also made sure that at the end of the day, this was a debate about spending cuts, not social issues like women’s health and the protection of our air and water,” Obama said. “These are important issues that deserve discussion, just not during a debate about our budget.”
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