Pressured by abortion activists, a Republican U.S. Senator from Nevada flip-flopped on Monday and said he would “protect” Planned Parenthood.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, faced an angry crowd of abortion activists Monday at his town hall meeting, according to Nevada Public Radio. Many conservative lawmakers have faced hostile crowds at town hall meetings across the country in the past few months.
Heller has a pro-life voting record. He recently voted to overturn an Obama administration rule that basically forced states to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. He also voted to confirm new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
But when an angry crowd full of abortion supporters pressed him Monday in Reno, Heller backtracked on his position.
The liberal news outlet Mic reports Heller repeatedly was asked about Planned Parenthood:
“I’m glad that you had the health care services that you need as you were growing up,” Heller told a constituent in a video captured by CNN politics reporter Eric Bradner. “I want to make sure that my daughters have the same opportunities and the same access to the same kind of care.”
This response was met by scattered applause until Heller mentioned that those services don’t have to be provided by Planned Parenthood. He said community health centers can also fit the bill, at which point the crowd erupted into boos.
But then, apparently conceding to his constituents’ pressure, Heller appeared to completely reverse his stance on funding the clinics.
“I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood,” he said.
Later, Heller said he would continue to look into the issue. When the crowd yelled at him again, he answered that he would “protect Planned Parenthood.”
However, Heller also said he believes states should be allowed to decide whether to fund the abortion group. This also prompted boos from the crowd.
One of the pro-life measures that Heller supported was signed into law Thursday by President Donald Trump. The law overturns a rule pro-abortion President Barack Obama put in place preventing states from defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) prevented states from blocking Title X funding to abortion companies like Planned Parenthood.
In recent years, several states receiving Title X family planning grants opted to direct those funds to county health departments, community health centers, or other types of providers, rather than to organizations engaged in objectionable activities, such as Planned Parenthood, a mega-marketer of abortion that has also been involved in selling aborted baby parts.
A recent survey found that federally qualified community health centers not only provide more comprehensive health care than Planned Parenthood, excluding abortions, they also outnumber the abortion group’s facilities by 20 to one.
Federal and state lawmakers are considering legislation that would defund abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, and redirect tax dollars to these community health centers.
Planned Parenthood could continue to receive tax dollars if it stops doing abortions and starts focusing on legitimate health care, but it recently refused to do so.
Action: Contact U.S. Sen. Dean Heller.