Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has joined her Democratic colleagues in blocking legislation which would have eliminated federal funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading abortion provider.
Last week, the U.S. Senate refused to take up for a vote a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. The Senate voted 53-46 for a cloture motion to suspend further debate on the measure. However, 60 votes are required to shut down debate and bring the issue to a vote. Senator McCaskill
voted against the cloture motion. Missouri's other U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, who supports defunding Planned Parenthood, voted for the cloture motion.
The Senate had moved quickly to consider the legislation following the release of a series of ghastly undercover videos revealing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of baby body parts from aborted preborn children. The videos exposed leading medical
authorities at Planned Parenthood nonchalantly haggling over the terms of trafficking in the intact organs of unborn children, which is illegal under federal law.
While Senator McCaskill acknowledged the videos were disturbing, she nonetheless claimed that defunding Planned Parenthood would "take away money for birth control for millions of women across the country." This despite the fact that contraception is available for indigent women at most county health departments and community action agencies. The provisions of Obamacare also require that all health insurance policies provide contraception for free without co-pays or co-insurance.Senator Roy Blunt
was a co-sponsor of the bill sponsored by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. Blunt says the $540 million in federal dollars funneled to the abortion
giant each year needs to go to organizations with "less troubling standards than the ones we've seen recently from Planned Parenthood."
"The video footage of Planned Parenthood executives continues to raise deeply troubling questions, and like most Americans, I am appalled by the disturbing actions these videos describe," Blunt says. "It is clear that Planned Parenthood is not the right place for any federal dollars.
"We will ensure every dollar taken away from Planned Parenthood will go toward women's health care through our community health centers and other providers," Blunt added. "Missouri community health centers serve almost half-a-million people and would provide the same kinds of services that the federal government funds through Planned Parenthood. Tony Perkins
, President of the Family Research Council, was encouraged by the vote. The last time the U.S. Senate attempted to strip funding from Planned Parenthood, which occurred in 2011, there were only 44 votes in favor of the measure.
"While Americans are divided over abortion, we see common ground quickly forming to ensure that tax dollars aren't sent to an organization that sifts through aborted babies' body parts to see which organs can be salvaged and sold," Perkins said. "Trafficking body parts is only the latest scandal for an organization that has faced allegations of covering up sex trafficking, engaging in sex selection abortion, and even violating the law criminalizing partial-birth abortion."