Pence delivered the tiebreaking vote on a resolution reversing an Obama administration rule that prevented states from withholding family-planning dollars from Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide abortions.
Democrats condemned the measure throughout the day, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY calling it “another example of the Republican war on women“.
If cleared by Congress and signed into law, it would overturn an Obama administration regulation that prohibits states from refusing to distribute federal family-planning money to clinics simply because the facilities also perform abortions.
Collins has voted against many abortion restrictions while Murkowski’s record on the issue is mixed.
“We should all be aware there is more headed our way”, Murray said on the Senate floor.
Democrats said the resolution will make it harder for millions of women to access health services. The Senate voted 50 to 50 to overturn the abortion-facility-enabling regulation.
“This approach effectively excludes providers focused on reproductive health from receiving funds, even though they have been shown to provide higher quality services, such as preconception”, Obama administration officials said in December. It would have halted federal funding for Planned Parenthood and curtailed the ability of many low-income women to obtain affordable birth control. “There’s a reason this measure barely passed: people are sick and exhausted of politicians making it even harder for them to access health care, and they will not stand for it”.
The activists behind the videos were charged with 15 felonies on Tuesday for illegally recording confidential conversations with health care providers without their consent.
Defund Planned Parenthood but do so knowing the bill won’t make it through the Senate.
Title X money comes from the government to fund “family planning services”, but technically not abortion.
Republican leaders kept a procedural vote open for over an hour after two GOP senators, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins, joined Democrats trying to block the measure. The congresswoman, who introduced the legislation in late January, said the measure will protect states’ rights. James Lankford, R-Okla. “States could choose to have Planned Parenthood as part of their Title X funding states should not be compelled to”.
But just last week, the GOP pulled their new health care bill, the American Health Care Act, just before it went to vote-giving Planned Parenthood supporters and advocates of free birth control the opportunity for a much-needed sigh of relief. They may see some decrease in upfront health care costs and perhaps reduce the national deficit, and that is what they would like to do because their careers are limited.
“It substituted Washington’s judgment for the needs of real people”, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of Obama’s rule.
“The proposed rule will further Title X’s goal by protecting access of intended beneficiaries to Title X service providers that offer a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and services”.