It's Sept. 30, and you know what that means: Congress needs to approve a budget so that the U.S. government can continue to operate in the next fiscal year (starting tomorrow).
But there was a fly in the ointment this time around, and that turned out to be federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Utah's congressional delegation has not concealed its disdain for Planned Parenthood, especially after the release of You Tube videos this summer showing edited conversations about the procurement of fetal tissues between PP physicians and fake medical researchers.
To avoid a government shutdown, Congress finally punted and passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 11, when all this craziness can come to a head again.
On the House side, however, Rep. Chris Stewart, a Republican representing Utah's 2nd District, voted against the continuing resolution, saying in a written statement, "because morally I cannot continue to allow federal tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood, an organization participating in such horrific activities."
Yes, such moral dilemmas are vexing, but as an elected representative of Utah, Stewart's job requires him to pass a budget to keep the wheels of government turning—and not stand on his soapbox.
To be fair, Stewart is far from the only Utahn playing politics with women's healthcare. Utah's Gov. Herbert is himself being sued by Planned Parenthood
for defunding Utah clinics of their pass-through federal dollars.
To defend against lawsuits such as these, it likely will cost states a lot more than Planned Parenthood's actual allocation of federal dollars. Elected officials who get on this particular bandwagon should factor that into the budget.