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Congress Just Passed a Bill That Will Keep Funding Planned Parenthood—for Now

Planned Parenthood Support Sign

Late Sunday night, Congress approved a budget deal that will fund the government through September, avoiding a federal government shutdown. For now, the deal maintains federal funding for Planned Parenthood. (Which, ICYMI, is what keeps this important health organization afloat.)

The Trump administration had hinted that this budget deal could include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities (where officials refuse to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation), and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. However, these more controversial provisions were all left out of the bill, possibly because Democratic congressional negotiators threatened to block it, leading to a government shutdown.

While this deal protects federal Planned Parenthood funding for the time being, other action by the administration doesn't signal good news for PP or other abortion providers. President Trump recently signed a bill allowing states to withhold federal funding from family planning agencies that may provide abortions. And he just announced his pick for the assistant secretary of public affairs: Charmaine Yoest, former president of Americans United for Life, an organization that's been instrumental in advancing anti-abortion legislation, according to Politico. Although Planned Parenthood provides important services other than abortion (such as contraception, STD testing, and cancer screenings), it's been the target of most anti-abortion action in the months since the presidential election. (Birth control is under fire too; both the House of Representatives and Senate voted against keeping contraception free for women earlier this year.)

Come September, however, all of this might change—so, like the dropped GOP health care bill—this only gives PP supporters and women's health rights activists a moment of relief.

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