A bill that would have cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood was blocked in the US Senate yesterday (Aug. 3), after a withering speech from Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren to her Republican colleagues:
Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950’s or the 1890’s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s health care centers. You know, on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised. The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women’s rights to make choices over our own bodies.
The bill was a response to a series of controversial hidden-camera videos from an anti-abortion group alleging that the reproductive health group was selling fetal tissue from the abortions it carries out.
The bill needed 60 votes to move forward, but received only 53.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal ended the state’s Medicaid contract with two Planned Parenthood clinics, neither of which offer abortion procedures. Medicaid, an insurance program for the poor, accounts for 75% of the organization’s government funding nationwide.
Planned Parenthood has denied any allegations that it profits from fetal tissue donations, which are legal under US law.