Sen. Jerry Moran co-sponsoring Rand Paul’s bill to defund Planned Parenthood

July 28, 2015

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran has climbed aboard an effort to deny federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Republican said he will co-sponsor S. 1861, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to defund the reproductive health care provider after a series of videos by anti-abortion activists purport to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

“Each successive video of senior Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting of tissue remains of aborted babies is more gruesome than the last,” Moran said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Human lives are the cost of the organization’s appalling efforts to collect fetal organs and tissues.”

Planned Parenthood officials have repeatedly stated the videos are highly edited by anti-abortion activists and that Planned Parenthood is acting within legal and ethical guidelines.

The legislation is likely to fail. While Republicans have a majority in the Senate, they lack the 60 votes needed to overcome the Senate practice known as cloture, a major obstacle to passage. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday that Republicans won’t have enough Democratic votes for passage.

“Good luck with that,” he told Capitol Hill reporters.

Planned Parenthood receives $540 million in federal aid each year. A vote on Paul’s bill is expected to occur next week before Congress breaks for its month-long August recess.

While Planned Parenthood has drawn the ire of conservatives for decades, rhetoric has ratcheted up in recent weeks as the videos have raised questions about the organization’s tissue donation efforts.

Last week, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback called on the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts to investigate the state’s Planned Parenthood facilities.

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp spoke on the House floor about what he called “horrifying abuses by the nation’s largest, most profitable abortion business,” comparing it to human trafficking.

“Planned Parenthood should not be allowed to profit off the death of its abortion victims by selling their organs to the highest bidder,” the western Kansas representative said.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri responded to the federal legislation in an email Tuesday, stating that its facilities in both states don’t participate in tissue donation programs.

“PPKM does not have or participate in fetal tissue donation programs, but the organization has still found itself under attack by politicians and extreme anti-abortion groups aiming to ban abortion in both states,” said Sheila Kostas, the organization’s vice president of public affairs.

Via The Hutchinson News

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