An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. The videos, intended to put the organization in a bad light, claim Planned Parenthood is illegally selling fetal tissue, which it has consistently denied.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards explained that the organization does not profit from tissue donations, and that all donation programs they participate in follow laws and ethical guidelines, in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos. “We have the highest standards,” Richards told him. “The care – and health care and safety – of our patients is our most important priority.”
Richards also reminded the public that the videos in question were produced by the Center for Medical Progress, a group with deep ties to extremist anti-choice organizations like Live Action and Operation Rescue. “The folks behind this,” she added, “are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement.”
Media Resources: The Hill 7/26/15; Politico 7/26/15; Planned Parenthood Newsroom 7/16/15; RH Reality Check