WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, agreeing to a provision that was part of a bill to strip key parts of Obamacare.
The Senate voted 52 to 47 in support of the measure, rejecting two efforts to remove the Planned Parenthood language from the legislation.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) had presented an amendment to restore the funding, but it was defeated 48-52. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) sought to create a fund paid for by the taxes of millionaires, but it also was rejected 54-46.
“The defeat of the Murray and Collins amendments is a victory for the American people,” said David Christensen of Family Research Council. “Across the country, people are tired of being forced by the federal government to partner with the abortion industry, including those engaged in the selling of baby body parts. This legislation protects women’s health by reallocating funds to community health centers that provide a broader array of health services.”
Liz Johnson, spokesman for Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) told reporters that reallocating the funds will not be detrimental to women’s health as there are plenty of other women’s health facilities in New Hampshire, for example.
“There are five Planned Parenthood clinics in New Hampshire,” she said. “By contrast, there are about 30 community health center sites in New Hampshire that provide primary care and women’s health services like cancer screenings, mammograms, and contraceptives.”
The bill must now be approved by the House of Representatives, but the White House has threatened to veto the measure should it make it to Barack Obama’s desk.
“It seems implausible that less than a week after a tragic shooting at the Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs some in Washington chose politics over compassion,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement about the passage of the legislation in the Senate.
But pro-life groups were pleased with the development.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced to give their money to Planned Parenthood, which has a long track record of abusive and potentially fraudulent billing practices, not to mention that it has also been caught in authenticated undercover videos trafficking aborted babies’ body parts and has repeatedly failed to report the sexual abuse of girls,” said Kellie Fiedorek of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). “That tax money should be redirected to trustworthy health care providers.”
Thursday’s vote marks the third attempt that the Senate has sought to defund the abortion giant this year.
As previously reported, Planned Parenthood’s annual report released in January of this year showed that it performed 327,653 abortions nationwide during the 2013-2014 fiscal year, up from 327,166 the year prior. The figure equates to 174 abortions for every adoption referral. No post-natal care is provided for women who keep their children.