Presidential races

Rand Paul plans to keep pushing to defund Planned Parenthood

Francis Rivera

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), a Republican presidential candidate, said he is continuing to push to defund Planned Parenthood amid fallout over the group’s procedures to harvest and transfer aborted body parts.

“I’m going to try to force a vote on this. I think the time is now to discuss whether taxpayer dollars should be going to such a gruesome procedure,” Paul said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“People are outraged by this and I think the American people deserve to have a vote on it,” Paul said.

The Kentucky lawmaker said he was pursuing several strategies to defund the group, including a “discharge petition” requiring the support of at least 16 other senators.

Several Republican senators have accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of blocking a vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

Paul, who has similarly sought to attach a defunding provision to a highway funding bill, said Sunday that “they may block me today on a vote on an amendment to the highway bill.”

McConnell started a fast-track process Friday on legislation to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood, a spokesman noted to Reuters on Sunday.

Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards defended her group Sunday during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” after a pair of videos surfaced showing top officials discussing the transfer of body parts and tissue.

“To me, this isn’t something that actually should be criticized or made fun of,” Richards said of donating aborted fetal tissue, describing the practice as “laudable” and sharply condemning critics.

She also disputed that one of the videos shows a Planned Parenthood official haggling over the price of aborted tissue, turning the attention on the video’s producers, who were posing as buyers from a medical research company.

“I mean the doctor, on video, in a casual voice while sipping wine and eating brie, talks about rotating a baby around so she can get better access to baby parts that she’s going to harvest for sale to researchers,” Paul said on Fox.

“Do people want their taxpayer dollars going to this type of procedure?” Paul asked.

Another 2016 Republican presidential candidate, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, blasted Planned Parenthood during an appearance on the same program Sunday.

“This is an abomination, that Planned Parenthood has lobbied against a woman’s opportunity to look at an ultrasound before she makes an incredibly difficult choice to end the unborn life within her, and yet, they are using that same technology to harvest body parts, which they claim are not a life, in order to sell them, to save another life. It is unbelievably hypocritical,” Fiorina said on Fox.

“I’m so tired of the canard about women’s health. There are plenty of places where women can achieve and have these services,” Fiorina said when asked about Planned Parenthood’s other offerings.

Tags Abortion Planned Parenthood Rand Paul Sunday shows

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