Pro-lifers find great hope in Senate vote

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME - joined Democrats in opposing the legislation, sending chamber Republicans into a scurry to find a pair of replacement votes to get it approved.

With Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote, the U.S. Senate voted to overturn a recent federal regulation that has shielded Planned Parenthood from funding cuts.

Part of the United States Department of Health And Human Service's Office of Population Affairs, Title X is "the only federal grant program dedicated exclusively to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services".

The bill will allow states to withhold federal funds from health care providers that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood. The measure passed the House in February by a vote of 230-188.

It means that the people who'd be most hurt are those who already face barriers to getting adequate health care: people with low incomes, people who live in rural areas, people of color.

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They were the second and third tiebreakers cast by Pence, following the one for confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

"I am grateful to Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Diane Black for their leadership on passing the first pro-life legislation in this new Congress". The bill rescinding the HHS rule is now headed to the desk of President Donald Trump.

The GOP have a 52-48 majority in the Senate, but two Republicans joined the Democrats to vote against the resolution. When Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics receive Title X family planning funding, it frees resources for them to spend more on abortion. Under this exception, Planned Parenthood has been eligible to receive Title X funds, per the states' discretion.

The Congressional Review Act has lets lawmakers undo regulations enacted in the last months of the Obama administration with a majority vote.

The Title X family-planning program whose funds the Senate vote moved to strip helps finance cervical and breast cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STIs and well-woman exams - not abortion. "Because the Obama administration wanted to do everything it could to secure federal funding streams for Planned Parenthood before they turned over the keys to the Trump administration", she continued.

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In a letter to House members urging them to vote for H.J. Res. 43, National Right to Life wrote: "Long-standing objections to the massive governmental funding of PPFA (Planned Parenthood Federation of America) have been reinforced by widely publicized undercover videos, which illuminate the callous brutality that occurs daily in these abortion mills".

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI called this resolution the "latest attack in the unrelating Republican crusade" to defund Planned Parenthood. "Reversal of this rule could make it easier for state politicians to block a woman's access to contraception and critical preventive care at women's health clinics across the country".

"We are very proud that our state legislature has stepped up", Diamond said.

Planned Parenthood, like every other clinic, hospital or physician's office, is reimbursed for the care it provides to patients who rely on public health programs such as Medicaid. But politicians and advocates who oppose abortion don't want any taxpayer dollars supporting any of Planned Parenthood's operation.

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