August 4, 2015

Senate votes against defunding Planned Parenthood

Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC

An effort to defund Planned Parenthood failed to move forward on Monday, the latest in a long series of efforts to defund the organization.

Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC

Capitol Hill Building, Washington DC

While Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, enough Democrats voted against legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood following controversy to stop the debate from moving forward.

This means that the effort failed with both of the U.S. Senators from New Mexico voting against moving forward with the defunding.

Anti-abortion activists say the videos show Planned Parenthood admitting to selling baby parts. Abortion rights activists say the shorter version of the videos are heavily edited and instead show a legal discussion of fetal tissue donation for research.

The outcry led up to the Senate vote and, likely, a House vote after the House returns in September from the annual August recess.

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich voted along with most of the Democrats against defunding.

Udall said the organization “provides critical health care and preventive services, such as cancer screenings and tests, for women and men, many of whom do not have access to services elsewhere.”

“Exploiting women’s health care for political gain does the Senate a disservice and wastes the people’s time,” Udall said in his statement. “New Mexicans — and all Americans — can’t afford more threats of stalemates and shutdowns. It’s time to stop playing games and get back to work on legislation to keep the government running and help families get ahead.”

“One in five women has relied on Planned Parenthood for care in her lifetime for services like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings,” Heinrich said in a statement to New Mexico Political Report. “This all too familiar attack on women jeopardizes the health and well-being of millions of Americans who rely on these basic services each year.”