White House threatens to veto bill blocking Planned Parenthood's funding

White House threatens to veto bill blocking Planned Parenthood's funding
© Planned Parenthood

The White House on Friday threatened a veto on any bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.

A budget measure that strips funding from the organization “is certainly something that would draw a presidential veto,” press secretary Josh Earnest said.

“We have routinely opposed the inclusion of ideologically driven riders” in budget bills, Earnest added.

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It is the first time the White House issued a veto threat against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood since an anti-abortion group began releasing secretly recorded videos.

Senate Republicans have taken aim at the women’s health group in recent weeks on the heels of videos that the Center for Medical Progress claims show Planned Parenthood officials trying to sell parts of aborted fetuses, which would be illegal.

Liberals and abortions rights advocates insist that the videos are selectively edited to smear Planned Parenthood, which has been targeted repeatedly by political attacks in recent years.

As soon as Monday, Senate Republicans are planning to bring to the floor legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. It is expected to fail under opposition from Democrats.

The White House spokesman questioned the authenticity of the recordings and pointed to criticism they have received from media organizations.

“I haven’t seen the videos, but those who have taken a close look at them have raised some significant concerns about their authenticity and whether or not they actually convey the view of those particular officials or even the broader institution,” Earnest said.

On Thursday, Earnest said the “fraudulent way” the videos were released means there is “not a lot of evidence” that Planned Parenthood violated any laws.

Earnest said he was not sure whether President Obama had seen the videos but that the president “is aware of the news that those videos have generated.”

Asked how he knows the videos are fraudulent, Earnest said he was relying public statements made by Planned Parenthood and other “impartial observers” such as news outlets including The New York Times.