Sen. Susan Collins likely to vote no on defunding Planned Parenthood
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Wednesday said she is likely to oppose a bill backed by Senate Republican leaders that would defund Planned Parenthood.
“I’m still looking at the bill, but if it is an immediate defunding of Planned Parenthood before we have more facts in, then I would likely oppose the amendment,” Collins told reporters.
Collins said that she would support a bill that called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood and prohibited the group from being involved in the sale of human tissue.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has touted the bill to cut off federal funds to Planned Parenthood in response to controversial undercover videos that show officials from the organization candidly discussing the price of fetal tissue.
McConnell and other Republican backers of the bill, which is heading for a vote before the August recess, emphasize that it redirects the funding to other organizations, so it is not cutting funding for the women’s health services that Planned Parenthood provides.
But Collins raised problems with that approach.
“The problem is, in my state and many others, Planned Parenthood is the primary provider of women’s health services in certain parts of my state, and as I understand the amendment, and again I’m still reviewing it, it immediately defunds Planned Parenthood,” Collins said. “So I don’t know how you would ensure that all of the patients of Planned Parenthood could be absorbed by alternative care providers.”
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has strongly opposed the defunding measure, saying that “no matter how you package it, it’s an attack on women.”
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