Senator Collins Votes to Protect Health Care for Millions of Women

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins released the following statement after voting in opposition to the Budget Reconciliation Act this evening:
 
      “I have consistently opposed eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides important family planning, cancer screening, and basic preventive health care services to millions of women across the country.  For many women, Planned Parenthood clinics provide the only health care services they receive.  
 
      “Tonight, I voted in opposition to the Budget Reconciliation Act because this legislation would totally prohibit federal funding, including Medicaid funds, for Planned Parenthood. It would likely result in the shutdown of virtually all Planned Parenthood clinics in our country, depriving millions of women of access to basic healthcare and forcing them to give up the health provider of their choice. 
             
      “I know that many Americans, including me, were appalled by the actions of some Planned Parenthood employees who were shown discussing the sale of fetal tissue in a series of videos released last summer.  
 
      “But the fact remains that only a very small percentage of Planned Parenthood facilities—only seven of more than 700—were engaged in the sale of fetal tissue, and now no Planned Parenthood clinic is involved in these sales. Despite the sickening nature of these videos, it would be unfair and unwise to respond by shutting down the main source of basic health care for millions of women. In addition, it is important to remember that federal funds are already prohibited for the use of abortions except in the case of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
 
      “While I do support the ongoing effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, the inclusion of these harmful Planned Parenthood provisions had no place in this legislation.”
 
      Senator Collins offered an amendment to the Budget Reconciliation Act, along with her colleagues Senator Murkowski and Senator Kirk, which would have struck the provisions defunding Planned Parenthood. Senator Collins spoke from the Senate floor this afternoon to urge her collogues to adopt the amendment. Unfortunately, the amendment was 3 votes short of the fifty-one votes needed for adoption.