Senate fails to advance bill defunding Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON, DC – A procedural vote in the Senate on legislation that would have barred all federal funds for Planned Parenthood failed on Monday.
The vote was 53-46, meaning the measure failed the get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster on bringing the bill up for debate.
Conservatives in both the House and Senate are urging their leaders to include a provision to defund Planned Parenthood on any upcoming bill to fund the government this fall.
A debate on some type of short-term spending bill is expected before the end of September, when federal agencies run out of money.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Tonight, the Senate sent a clear message: blocking millions of women, men and young people from seeking care at a Planned Parenthood health center is a political non-starter.
“Not only was this bill cruel, it was nonsensical. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s most trusted reproductive health care provider. The vast majority of federal funding Planned Parenthood’s nonprofit health centers receive is reimbursement for serving patients enrolled in Medicaid — millions of patient visits a year for basic, preventive services like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings. Medical experts across the country called this bill — and the idea that millions of patients could be ‘absorbed’ by existing providers — ‘ludicrous.’ The ONLY purpose this bill served was to cut women, and men, off from the reproductive health care they now rely on.
“These past few weeks have shown us that anti-abortion extremists will stop at nothing to block women’s access to basic reproductive health care. Members of Congress are again insisting that women’s health care isn’t ‘legitimate’ and anti-abortion rhetoric has crossed into the ridiculous — with presidential candidates threatening to send in federal troops to prevent women from accessing safe and legal abortion.
“Yet this manufactured scandal has gone nowhere — the Senate has voted, the president has threatened a veto, and these tapes, as well as the extremists behind them, have lost credibility. While some extreme Republicans may continue to insist on shutting down the government in order to deny health care, including birth control, to millions of women, that is a fight the American people have zero appetite for and a fight these extremists will not win.
“We’re grateful that the Senate stood up for women across the country and rejected this bill. This fight may not be over, but we’re ready for it, just like we were in 2011, and in 2009, and in 2007. It’s time the far right came to terms with political reality: attacks on women’s health are deeply unpopular, and put millions of lives at risk. The American people stand with Planned Parenthood. We know what happens when the out-of-touch extremists in Congress try to push their anti-woman agenda above everything else — the American people reject them.”