Senate Republicans Introduce Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood

(REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

Paul Conner Executive Editor
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A group of Republican senators, led by Iowa’s Joni Ernst, introduced legislation Tuesday to strip Planned Parenthood Federation of America of the more than $500 million of taxpayer money that it receives every year.

The bill comes after the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials talking with disturbing frankness about selling the organs of unborn children to research facilities.

The group’s affiliates across the country performed 327,653 abortion procedures in 2013, according to its most recent annual report. That report shows that Planned Parenthood took more $528 million in federal money, 41 percent of its revenue.

“As a mother and grandmother, I find this footage of Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies morally reprehensible and vile,” Ernst said in a statement. “The American people are horrified by these videos as well. Simply put, this legislation ensures that funding for women’s health is protected and that taxpayer dollars will not go to Planned Parenthood.”

The group’s affiliates and national office reported $77.9 million in “other operating revenue.” No word on how much of that revenue came from the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

Nineteen senators are cosponsoring the legislation. They are:

    John Barrasso of Wyoming
    Roy Blunt of Missouri
    John Boozman of Arizona
    Richard Burr of North Carolina
    Dan Coats of Indiana
    Tom Cotton of Arkansas
    John Cornyn of Texas
    Ted Cruz of Texas
    Steve Daines of Montana
    Mike Enzi of Wyoming
    Deb Fischer of Nebraska
    James Inhofe of Oklahoma
    Johnny Isakson of Georgia
    Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
    James Lankford of Oklahoma
    John McCain of Arizona
    Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
    Jerry Moran of Kansas
    Rand Paul of Kentucky
    David Perdue of Georgia
    Pat Roberts of Kansas
    Ben Sasse of Nebraska
    Tim Scott of South Carolina
    John Thune of South Dakota

“The horrendous videos of senior executives from Planned Parenthood discussing in callous tones and shocking detail their role in a national scandal requires a congressional response,” McConnell said. “Our constituents demand it; the unborn deserve it.”

No Democrats have joined in cosponsoring the bill so far.

“Every member of the Senate and every member of the House should stand together and say: under no circumstances should federal taxpayer dollars, your money and my money, be sent to Planned Parenthood,” said Cruz. “I commend my colleagues for introducing this bill and am honored to stand with them in this important fight.”

Update, July 30, 11:24 a.m.: 13 more Republican senators added their names as cosponsors on Wednesday, July 29. They are:

    Richard Burr of North Carolina
    Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
    Tom Cotton of Arizona
    Mike Crapo of Idaho
    Mike Lee of Utah
    John McCain of Arizona
    David Perdue of Georgia
    Rob Portman of Ohio
    Mike Rounds of South Dakota
    Marco Rubio of Florida
    Thom Tillis of North Carolina
    David Vitter of Louisiana
    Roger Wicker of Mississippi

Update, July 31, 11:24 a.m.: 12 more Republican senators added their names as cosponsors on Thursday, July 30. They are:

    James Risch of Idaho
    Cory Gardner of Colorado
    Dan Sullivan of Alaska
    Thad Cochran of Mississippi
    Jeff Sessions of Alabama
    John Hoeven of North Dakota
    Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
    Orrin Hatch of Utah
    Richard Shelby of Alabama
    Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
    Bob Corker of Tennessee
    Jerry Moran of Kansas

Update, Aug. 4, 11:17 a.m.: Jeff Flake of Arizona added his named as a cosponsor before the bill failed to advance in the Senate on Aug. 3.

Read the bill:

S.1881: Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood