Senate GOP needs Pence to break tie on family planning funds

"Continuing on their extreme anti-woman agenda, Senate Republicans are rushing now to roll back a rule that protects family planning providers from being discriminated against and denied federal funding". Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted with Democrats against repealing the regulation, requiring Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote. The vote Thursday means states can now block the funding for other family planning services at clinics which also provide abortions.

This tie-breaking vote will allow the Senate to cast a vote later in the day that would actually repeal Obama's rule protecting Planned Parenthood, potentially allowing for states to restrict funding to Planned Parenthood. This new bill that was just passed overrides the protection President Obama set in place to stop states from cutting funds from family planning centers for political reasons. Murray, among a stream of Democratic women senators who spoke, called the Senate measure "shameful" and "dangerous".

"This vote is consistent with the Senator's long-held belief that men and women should have access to the family planning and reproductive health services they need, including cancer tests and health screenings".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, U.S., March 26, 2017. He told attendees then that the Trump administration would work with Congress to permanently bar taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers.

Patients with private healthcare providers would still be able to use Planned Parenthood, but Medicaid patients - the neediest people - will be unable to access affordable sexual healthcare in states that choose to defund it.

Planned Parenthood decried the move.

The House in February had voted 230-188 largely along party lines to reject the rule under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn recently enacted regulations.

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"It substituted Washington's judgment for the needs of real people", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of Obama's rule. TItle X funding also covers services such as contraception, STD/STI screenings and treatments, but can not be used to pay for abortion services.

The Senate's approval sends the legislation to President Donald Trump's desk for a signature.

In a written statement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said lawmakers were putting many poor American women at risk.

Guess who casted the tiebreaking vote?

The measure has already passed the House of Representatives.

"This legislation does not prevent Planned Parenthood or any other entity from receiving Title X funds", Ernst said immediately after the vote.

  • Adam Floyd