Last week, Senate Democrats defeated legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and redistribute their funding to legitimate health care clinics. However, pro-lifers have not lost hope in passing other pro-life legislation in Congress, especially since two Senate Democrats voted with Republicans on the Planned Parenthood bill.
As LifeNews previously reported, Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) voted to defund Planned Parenthood as well as two Senate Republicans who usually support abortion.
Additionally, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) offered amendments to cut funding from individual Planned Parenthood facilities found to have participated in illegal activity. The Washington Examiner reports that this surprised Susan B. Anthony List spokeswoman, Mallory Quigley.
In the past, Sen. Muskowski has supported Planned Parenthood but recently indicated that her support is not unconditional. On her Facebook page she wrote, “I have long supported Planned Parenthood because I believe it offers important family planning, cancer screenings and other health services to thousands of men and women in Alaska and across the country. But my support is not unconditional. If Planned Parenthood or its affiliates have engaged in illegal activity it is not to be condoned.”
Quigley explained that her organization has been urging Republicans that usually support abortion to vote in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood; and now they are lobbying them to support a 20-week abortion ban, which would protect unborn babies in the final four months of pregnancy from excruciatingly painful late abortions.
In July, Senate officials indicated that they are planning to vote on the 20-week ban when they return from their August recess. They also said the tentative plan is to have the Judiciary Committee take up the legislation in September and for the Senate to vote on it in October.
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The Planned Parenthood videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) showing their top executives negotiating the sale of aborted babies and discussing ways to procure “fully-intact” organs highlight the need for a 20-week abortion ban in America. In fact, last month Planned Parenthood got a judge to issue a restraining order against CMP to stop them from releasing more videos exposing how they obtain intact fetal organs.
The President of CMP, David Daleiden, explained, “In a meeting with their top leadership where their leadership admitted that they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics they work with, and that could be prima facie evidence of born alive infants. And so that’s why they’re trying to suppress that videotape and they’re very scared of it.
This information potentially means Planned Parenthood is breaking the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act that requires abortion clinics, hospitals and other places that do abortions to provide medical care for a baby born alive after a failed abortion. In other words, Planned Parenthood could be obtaining “fully-intact” organs by performing botched late-abortions and then allowing the child to die after birth.
Sen. Murkowski hasn’t yet said whether she would vote for the next abortion-related measure, known as the “pain-capable” bill. It would ban most abortions 20 weeks after conception based on the idea that’s when a fetus can start feeling pain.
The measure is almost certain to fall short of the 60 votes it would need, but abortion opponents are still lobbying members hard. Of the Senate’s five or so potential “swing” votes, only Manchin has pledged support.
Donnelly (D-Indiana) voted for a similar measure when he was in the House but has stayed mum since he’s joined the Senate. So has Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who generally opposes abortion rights, but voted against defunding Planned Parenthood both times.
Collins has also ducked questions of whether she would vote for the 20-week ban, saying in June that it shouldn’t be “the priority.” Collins was careful to say Monday that she doesn’t support defunding all Planned Parenthood clinics across the board, but would rather withhold funding only if they violated the law. Planned Parenthood and abortion rights advocates strongly have defended themselves amid the controversy, saying they’ve engaged in no wrongdoing.