Secret Tapes Reignite US Abortion Funding Debate

- VOA News,August 6, 2015

Secretly-taped videos have re-energized America’s emotion-laden debate over abortion, making it a burning issue in the 2016 presidential contest and roiling Congress to the point where a federal government shutdown later this year could become more likely.

In recent weeks, an anti-abortion group has released covert videos in which staffers of Planned Parenthood, America’s leading provider of abortions and reproductive health services, nonchalantly discuss the sale of fetal tissue for clinical research.

Planned Parenthood and its affiliates receive more than $500 million annually in public funds, but are barred by law from using taxpayer dollars for abortions, relying on other revenue streams for that purpose.
 
Even so, Republicans say the group is unworthy of federal support.
 
“The revelations we have seen from Planned Parenthood are deeply disturbing,” said Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “They raise fundamental questions about what kind of society we want to be.”
 
Earlier this week, Senate Democrats blocked debate on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect those funds to health clinics that do not perform abortions.
 

For its part, Planned Parenthood has questioned the legality of the secretly-taped videos. While acknowledging their cringe-inducing content, the group says it has broken no laws or ethical boundaries.
 
Democrats note that research involving fetal tissue has spurred life-saving treatments and cures.
 
“It has led to public health breakthroughs like the polio vaccine. It is helping develop treatments for Parkinson’s, for Alzheimer’s, and more,” said Boxer.
 
Congress will return from its annual August recess in September facing pressing fiscal tasks. Unless lawmakers allocate money for a multitude of federal agencies and programs, the U.S. government would shut down October 1.

Some Republicans are pressing to exclude funding for Planned Parenthood, a move that would be strongly opposed by congressional Democrats and likely trigger a veto by President Barack Obama.

美国有关堕胎争论再度激化

- 美国之音,2015年8月6日

一些秘密录制的视频最近再度点燃美国人在堕胎问题上情绪激昂的辩论,这使得堕胎问题成为2016年总统竞选的炙手可热的话题,同时在国会引起的反响导致联邦政府可能在今年晚些时候暂时关门。

近几星期以来,一个反堕胎组织公布了一些在隐蔽情况下录制的视频,里面显示美国主要的堕胎和生育健康服务机构“计划生育”的工作人员若无其事地讨论出售胚胎组织以供临床研究。
 
 “计划生育”和其相关机构每年获得5亿美元公共拨款,但是法律禁止其使用纳税人的钱提供堕胎服务,那要依靠其他收入来源。
 
尽管如此,共和党人表示这个机构不值得获得联邦拨款。

本周早些时候,参议院民主党人阻止了就一项取消向“计划生育”组织拨款的议案进行辩论,该议案要求把那些资金转拨给不提供堕胎服务的诊所。

而“计划生育”组织对秘密录制视频的合法性提出怀疑。他们承认里面的内容属实,但是表示没有违法,也没有触犯道德界限。

民主党人提出那些有关胚胎组织的研究推动了治病救人的医疗发展。

美国国会在每年八月休会之后将在九月面对紧迫的财政问题。除非议员们向庞大的联邦机构和项目进行拨款,否则美国政府将在10月1号关闭。
 
一些共和党议员施压要取消对“计划生育”组织的拨款,此举将遭到民主党议员们的强烈反对,并有可能触发奥巴马总统的使用否决权。