Senate Democrats narrowly rejected legislation Wednesday that would have stopped forcing taxpayers to fund the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
The pro-life joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act narrowly failed in a 49-49 vote, largely along party lines, according to the Senate Press Gallery. The resolution needed a simple majority to pass.
Only one Democrat, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, voted in favor of it, and two Republicans voted against it: U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska. Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Senate.
Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, the resolution would have overturned an action by President Joe Biden’s administration that allows abortion groups to receive tax dollars through the Title X family planning program.
On the Senate floor, Rubio said his resolution would direct tax dollars to health care groups that work to save lives, not kill them, Townhall reports. After the vote, he promised not to give up fighting for unborn babies.
“It is disgraceful that Democrats voted to use tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to promote abortion instead of reinstating commonsense safeguards that protect life and ensure families have the resources they need to thrive,” he said.
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His legislation would have restored a pro-life rule for the Title X program created by President Donald Trump’s administration. Title X provides family planning services for low-income Americans, and it is not supposed to be used to promote or provide abortions. However, prior to the Trump administration, Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups received tens of millions of tax dollars through the program every year.
Rubio said the pro-life rule did not reduce Title X funding, it simply redirected tax dollars to health care providers that do not perform or promote aborting unborn babies.
“Last year, unfortunately, the Biden administration, as was to be expected, pulled the plug on this vital protection,” the Florida senator said. “Now we see taxpayer money flowing, once again, to these abortion providers and their referers. This has to stop.”
His legislation had 36 co-sponsors, and major pro-life organizations, including the Susan B. Anthony List, National Right to Life, Family Research Council and Heritage Action, supported it.
Reacting to the vote, SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser slammed Democrat leaders for ignoring Americans’ views on the matter.
“The strong majority of Americans agree abortion is not ‘family planning’ and tax dollars should not be funneled to abortion businesses,” she said, according to Townhall. “Ignoring the clear will of the people as well as the letter of the law, the Biden-Harris administration rewrote the rules of the Title X program in a payout to the abortion industry that spent millions to elect them.”
Dannenfelser thanked Rubio and other Republican leaders and praised Manchin, a pro-life Democrat, for standing up against his party’s pro-abortion extremism.
“Commonsense protections for unborn children and their mothers are not partisan, and pro-abortion Democrats push abortion on demand at their political peril,” she said.
Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar abortion chain that aborts more unborn babies than any other group in the U.S. Its latest annual report, which is publicly available online, shows more than 354,000 abortions, about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S. It also receives hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year.
Title X funds are not supposed to be used for abortions. The program provides family planning services to low-income individuals, and the law states that Title X grants may not be used “where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Prior to 2019, however, Planned Parenthood was one of the largest recipients of Title X funding, receiving about $60 million a year. Under the Trump administration, the abortion chain chose to leave the program rather than comply with rules. Those rules required Title X recipients to make their abortion businesses physically and financially separate from the program and to stop referring women for abortions.
However, the Biden administration quickly reversed the rules in 2021, so that abortion facilities no longer have to separate their family planning services from their abortion businesses.