WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate failed to obtain sufficient votes to the defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood on Thursday, rejecting a bill that would help keep the government open because it contained the defunding provision.
Senators voted 52-47 this afternoon against the bill, which would have reallocated one year’s worth of funding—$235 million dollars—bookmarked for Planned Parenthood to women’s health organizations that don’t perform abortions. 60 votes were needed for the legislation’s passage.
According to reports, eight Republicans joined 42 Democrats and two independents in blocking the bill.
“Here we stand, days before government funding expires, wasting time on publicity stunts,” remarked Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
The White House had threatened a veto before the vote was taken, asserting that the move would have adverse effects on women’s health.
“By eliminating federal funding for a major provider of health care, the Senate amendment … would limit access to health care for women, men, and families across the nation, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals,” it said.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed disgust over Democratic efforts to block the spending bill over of the Planned Parenthood portion of the legislation.
“I know Democrats have relied on Planned Parenthood as a political ally, but they must be moved by the horrifying images we’ve seen,” McConnell said. “Can they not resolve to protect women’s health instead of powerful political friends?”
As previously reported, the U.S. House of Representatives had voted last Friday to defund the abortion giant, as H.R. 3134, the “Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015,” was passed 241-187—mainly across party lines.
While the Senate rejected the effort today, reports state that the fight is not over.
“The only way to actually defund Planned Parenthood is to include it on must-pass legislation like the continuing resolution,” Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) said. “It’s the reason why Republican leadership wants a show vote. They know they’ll lose instead of actually using their constitutional authority.”
He threatened to hold a Saturday session to block the passage of any funding legislation that allows Planned Parenthood to continue to receive government funds.
“It ought to be a simple matter for Republican leadership to stand for something,” Cruz stated, “and say at a minimum we’re not going to send taxpayer money to a private organization that is under ongoing criminal investigation.”
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.