Abortion rights foes shift attention to Senate

Democrats say the House-passed bill would make it near impossible for women to exercise their legal right to an abortion. The legislation would place "unprecedented restrictions on how a woman with private insurance can spend her own private dollars in purchasing health insurance," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) writes in The Hill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the bill "savage" and said it would let pregnant women "die on the floor" of health providers.

Yoest's memo also takes issue with a letter that 11 Democratic senators sent recently to Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce oversight panel, urging him to back off his investigation into the nation's largest abortion provider. Stearns last month wrote to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards asking her to provide documents demonstrating that her organization is handling its federal funding properly.

"At a time in our country when women rely on Planned Parenthood more than ever for essential health care, this invasive and baseless investigation is all the more reprehensible, and is an abuse of your oversight responsibilities," the letter states. "We urge you to immediately cease this investigation ... [It] amounts to no more than a witch hunt, and is a waste of resources at a time when the American people have asked that Congress come together and focus on job creation and economic growth."