The second Republican presidential primary debate, hosted by CNN, is set for Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
It will include 11 candidates who are expected to attack Planned Parenthood, which was the target of yet another sting video this week that shows staff members talking about fetal tissue donation.
The GOP has split on whether denying funding to the organization is worth forcing a government shutdown by refusing to pass any budget that doesn't stop the appropriation.
Party leaders have said no budget defunding Planned Parenthood will pass with a Democrat in the White House and the public will likely blame Republicans for a shutdown.
A group of more than 40 conservatives, however, have insisted they won't settle for anything but complete defunding and are prepared to hold out past the budget deadline of Sept. 30. Some have said the issue is not about whether Planned Parenthood has committed any crimes regarding fetal tissue, but a basic question about the morality of abortion.
One recent poll found that 71% of adults surveyed said keeping the government open is more important than eliminating Planned Parenthood's funding.
Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, have said they support holding out for a shutdown. The others have resisted calling for that ultimatum.
Donald Trump, who remains the Republican frontrunner, is once again likely to grab the spotlight. But retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been surging in recent polls that show his support is similar to the billionaire businessman's.
Discussion of immigration policy Wednesday night could spill over into health concerns. After Trump stated that if elected he would immediately begin to deport all undocumented immigrants, including children, the American College of Physicians released a statement reiterating its 2011 stance against mass deportation.
“Large-scale deportation of undocumented residents would have severe and unacceptable adverse health consequences for many millions of vulnerable people,” ACP President Dr. Wayne Riley said. “Numerous studies show that deportation itself, as well as the fear of being deported, causes emotional distress, depression, trauma associated with imposed family separations, and distrust of anyone assumed to be associated with federal, state and local government, including physicians and other healthcare professionals providing care in publicly funded hospitals and clinics.”
The issue is even more likely to come up since the news that a Mexican woman who had overstayed her visa and was living near Houston was arrested when she went for an annual gynecological exam. She was charged with having a fake Social Security card.
Law enforcement officials who arrested the woman reportedly told the woman's daughter that her mother would be deported. Her lawyer believes the arrest was a violation of health privacy laws.
Health policy wasn't a major topic during the first Republican debate last month, but it did come up.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich defended his decision to expand Medicaid in his state with a passionate discussion of the importance of helping those in need.
A few candidates took some of their precious speaking time to call for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, although they gave few specifics.
Wednesday's debate rules were altered slightly to allow one more candidate to squeeze onstage. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who was widely praised for her performance in last month's early debate featuring lower polling candidates, will take the main stage this time.
Fiorina has supported replacing the ACA with state-run high-risk pools and has also argued for medical malpractice reform.
The debate begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time on CNN with the earlier debate for four lower polling candidates beginning at 6 p.m.