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Is the government about to shut down over abortion?

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John Boehner

On one hand, it seems like the current budgetary impasse is all about money: Speaker John Boehner claimed, in a statement early this morning, that the two sides have not agreed on budget cuts (or, as he put it, Democrats have not agreed to cut enough).  But, soon thereafter, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated both parties had agreed on a budget and that the only thing keeping a budget from passing was a disagreement on social issues, mostly women's reproductive health

Reid seemed surprisingly harsh in his criticism, perhaps due to the fact that the federal government is only a few hours away from shutting down. He said: 

“We have an agreement on the cuts and savings, and that agreement includes a historic level of cuts… But now the Tea Party is trying to sneak through its extreme social agenda — issues that have nothing to do with funding the government. They are willing to throw women under the bus, even if it means they’ll shut down the government."

Headlines around the web are framing this as an abortion issue — which at some level it is, since the primary argument regards federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But it's also good to remember that federal funding of Planned Parenthood has almost nothing to do with abortion because there is no federal funding for abortion. There's federal funding for a lot of non-abortion activities that Planned Parenthood does, like STD testing, counseling, and contraceptive distribution, but not abortion. 

Meanwhile, thousands of government workers are wondering what a shut-down will mean for their jobs, and millions of Americans are wondering what it will mean period. But, a few women who are headed off to as-of-yet-still-funded Planned Parenthood tomorrow morning will get to double-park with no fear of consequences.