The Republican Struggle Against Planned Parenthood and Women's Health

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used some strong language this morning and stated that Republicans, inspired by the Tea Party, are willing to "throw women under the bus" by trying to force Congress to either cut funding to women's health programs or face a government shutdown. Here's CBS News with the story:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Friday morning that the only issue holding up a budget deal to avert a government shutdown is funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide women's health services.

"Republicans want to shut down our nation's government because they want to make it harder for women to get the health services they need," the Nevada Democrat said, adding that he is "personally offended" by the GOP position. The majority leader suggested Republicans are asking him to sacrifice the health of his wife and other women in his family in order to reach a deal.

"This is indefensible and everyone should be outraged, men and women should be outraged," he said.

"It has nothing to do fiscal integrity of this country, it has everything to do with ideology on that side of the Capitol," Reid added in separate comments.

Reid noted on the Senate floor that the issue was not abortion, since federal funds cannot legally be spent on abortions (under the Hyde amendment). He said at issue were health services like cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood and similar organizations get money for health services through legislation known as Title X. They use other funding services to pay for abortion services.

Read the full story at CBS News.

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Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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