The U.S. Senate this week refused to block taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers when a joint resolution supported by pro-life groups failed to pass.
The resolution would have restored a Trump-era rule that prohibits Title X money from going to family-planning clinics that perform, promote, or refer for “abortion as a method of family planning.” The rule also required clinics to financially and physically separate their abortion services from their non-abortion services. Title X is a federal family-planning program for low-income patients
The Biden administration overturned the Trump rule last year.
The Senate defeated the resolution on Wednesday along a vote of 49-49, with 47 members of the Democratic caucus joining two pro-choice Republicans (Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski) in opposing it. Voting for the resolution were 48 Republican senators and one Democrat (Sen. Joe Manchin).
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sponsored it.
“President Biden’s rule is an assault on the most sacred and fundamental human right, the right to life,” Rubio said. “It is disgraceful that Democrats voted to use tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to promote abortion instead of reinstating commonsense safeguards that protect life and ensure families have the resources they need to thrive. I will never stop advocating for the unborn.”
The Trump-era rule, Rubio said, did not reduce Title X funding but instead “directed it to organizations that do not perform and do not promote the taking of innocent life.”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) defended the Biden administration’s funding of Planned Parenthood.
“The message Republicans are sending with this vote, loud and clear, is that they won’t just stop at banning abortion with cruel laws like those we’ve seen in Texas, Oklahoma, and even just across the border from Washington state in Idaho,” Murray said. “They are determined to restrict access to all kinds of reproductive health care -- from abortion to birth control to STI testing and treatment.”
Multiple pro-life groups supported Rubio’s resolution, including the Susan B. Anthony List, National Right to Life, Family Research Council, and Heritage Action.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Michael B. Thomas/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.