Senate Democrats Block Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood


WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats today voted to block a bill that would end all federal funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider.

The measure, S. 1881, would block funding of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates. The vote to advance the bill was 53 to 46, with 60 votes required for advancement. However, 55 current senators actually support advancing the bill (one pro-life senator was absent, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) switched his vote to opposition only so that he would be eligible to enter a motion to reconsider, as he promptly did).

On the most recent previous occasion when the Senate voted on whether to defund Planned Parenthood, on April 14, 2011, only 42 senators voted for the cutoff.

“Planned Parenthood’s political arm is a major backer of many Democratic senators – who today voted to block a bill to defund their political ally,” said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president. “We recognize that cutting off this politically connected abortion mega-marketer is a long-term project, and we are encouraged that today’s tally represents a marked increase in opposition to Planned Parenthood since 2011, when only 42 senators voted to support a cutoff. Shame on Senate Democrats for voting to allow hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to fill the coffers of the nation’s largest abortion provider.”

Sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), S. 1881 states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be made available to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or to any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics.” The bill also contains language to provide that “all funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be made available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services.” In other words, any funds removed from Planned Parenthood would be reallocated to women’s health services provided by others.

Sen. Ernst introduced S. 1881 last week with the strong backing of Majority Leader McConnell, in response to a series of videos released by The Center for Medical Progress. The videos, which underscored the need for passage of legislation to cut off all federal funds to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, show top Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting and trafficking of body parts from unborn babies killed by abortion.

“Senator Ernst’s bill would push the snout of Planned Parenthood, a bloated abortion mega-marketer and a fetal organ trafficker, out of the U.S. Treasury feeding trough,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of abortions – about one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at Planned Parenthood-affiliated facilities. According to their most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood received at least $528 million annually from the federal government or other levels of government.

“Abortion is big business for Planned Parenthood and they don’t need taxpayer dollars to aid the expansion of their deadly empire,” Tobias said.

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.