Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and 20 other organizations are planning to hold a Capitol rally Thursday, as negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders on how to keep the federal government funded – and whether or not to include social policy riders in any eventual compromise – appear to be making little progress and with a potential shutdown looming at the end of the week.
The rally, which will take place at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in front of the reflecting pool on the west side of the Capitol, will feature Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan, pro-abortion-rights Senate and House members, and actors Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Connie Britton.
The rally comes as lawmakers and the White House are working to hammer out a deal on keeping the government running past Friday, the date the current funding measure is set to expire.
The House-passed funding measure, which was rejected by the Senate last month, contains among its proposed $61 billion in cuts a number of social policy riders, including an amendment by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) that would defund Planned Parenthood. The underlying bill would also cut Title X family planning funding.
The rally also comes on the same day the House Rules Committee is slated to take up H.R. 3, a measure known as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” that would eliminate tax breaks for abortions, permanently prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions in all federal programs and reinstate a ban on abortion funding in the District. The Rules Committee’s meeting means that the measure will likely head to the House floor next week.
As the debate over funding the federal government continues, many House Republicans have argued that provisions such as the Pence amendment must be included in any budget agreement, while many Senate Democrats have stated that they will not support the inclusion of any policy riders in a funding deal.
This post has been updated since it was first published.