A push by mostly Republican senators to strip federal funding for scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood fell seven votes shy of passing the chamber Monday. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, was a key supporter of the effort to defund the nation’s largest abortion facilitator.
“The time has come to have a full-throated debate about this,” he said ahead of Monday’s vote, “and the time has come to end all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. It’s about time we had a debate in our country about this, and it’s about time we said enough is enough.”
Paul, a co-sponsor of the bill, was among many pro-life Republicans to express outrage over the revelations uncovered through a series of videos released by the center for Medical Progress.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the vote as “a simple choice” between protecting “women’s health” or “subsidies for a political group mired in scandal.”
Nevertheless, pro-abortion Democrats like Barbara Boxer were quick to castigate Planned Parenthood’s opponents, saying conservatives have been targeting the organization for many years.
“The only thing that changes,” she alleged, “are their tactics.”
Boxer did not speak for everyone in her party, though.
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, for example, spoke out against Planned Parenthood’s actions – and continued federal funding of the group – just before voting for the Republican bill.
“Like many West Virginians,” he said, “I am very troubled by the callous behavior of Planned Parenthood staff in recently released videos. Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization.”
Manchin was joined by only one other Democrat senator, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, in supporting the effort. Just one Republican, Illinois’ Mark Kirk, voted against the measure. The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis cited a tough re-election bid for a blue state Republican as a potential factor for his vote.
2016 hopeful Lindsey Graham, who was campaigning in New Hampshire Monday, did not vote.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth