Defunding Planned Parenthood: Voting 53 for and 46 against, the Senate on Aug. 3 failed to reach 60 votes needed to advance a GOP-drafted bill (S 1881) to permanently end federal funding of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a nonprofit organization that provides low-income patients with health services such as reproductive care, sex-education counseling and screening for cervical and other cancers. Planned Parenthood says it serves 2.7 million women and men annually at 700 clinics nationwide, with abortions accounting for about 3 percent of its services.
Planned Parenthood’s funding under Title X of the Public Health Service Act totaled $528 million last fiscal year. This bill would transfer its future allocations to community health centers, state and local health departments and other medical providers that receive Title X funding. The bill followed the release of videos, secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists, in which Planned Parenthood officials discuss, in starkly graphic terms, certain abortion procedures and the provision of fetal tissue to medical researchers.
Jodi Ernst, R-Iowa, said the videos show that “Planned Parenthood — the nation’s single largest provider of abortion services — is harvesting baby body parts. The American people are shocked and horrified by the utter lack of compassion and disregard shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies.”
Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said: “The Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood is just one more piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated right-wing attack on women’s rights, and I am sick and tired of it. Women everywhere are sick and tired of it. The American people are sick and tired of it.”
A yes vote was to advance the bill toward a vote on final passage.
— Durbin, Kirk vote against bill to defund Planned Parenthood —