Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood Blocked in the Senate

Today, the Senate defeated an attempt to fully defund Planned Parenthood, falling seven votes short of the 60 votes needed to move to a full vote. 

 Working on a balanced response to the questions raised by recent unauthorized video footage of Planned Parenthood, mainstream Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Mark Kirk (IL) offered a substitute amendment. Their thoughtful alternative would have continued to provide Federal funding for the important preventive healthcare services of Planned Parenthood, including contraceptive care, cancer screenings and STI testing and treatment, while denying funds to only those Planned Parenthood clinics that participate in the donation of fetal tissue. 

The recent controversy raised enough questions to prompt a Congressional investigation. As a pro-choice organization that has long supported Planned Parenthood, we believe an external investigation by the Department of Justice, as proposed by Senators Collins and Kirk, would take a fair and balanced approach. Most importantly, this volatile debate should not come at the expense of the millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for fundamental health care needs. 

RMC’s priority remains protecting critical family planning and unintended pregnancy prevention funds provided by Title X, the Federal family planning program, through Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs, and under Medicaid. As Senator Collins said on the Floor of the Senate today, “The fact of the matter is that the best way to reduce the number of abortions in this country is to ensure women have access to  the family planning services they need to protect against unintended pregnancies.”

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