Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.)
(Screenshot: ABC This Week)
The Senate health care bill currently under consideration would partially defund Planned Parenthood for one year only, a step that Senator Susan Collins (R-Me.) wants to change by amending the bill to restore funding and, as she said on Sunday, "I am optimistic we'll prevail on that issue."
The Senate bill contains language from the House bill that calls for prohibiting funding through Medicaid to Planned Parenthood for one year. The bill, however, says nothing about stopping the funding of Planned Parenthood through Title X spending. Thus, only a portion of federal funding for America's largest abortion provider would be curtailed for one year.
On ABC's This Week, June 25, host George Stephanopoulos said to Sen. Collins, "I know you're planning on introducing an amendment with Senator [Lisa] Murkowski [R-AK] that would restore the funding for Planned Parenthood. If that amendment fails, will you oppose final passage?"
Senator Collins said, "Well, first, let me say that it makes absolutely no sense to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. There already are long-standing restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion. So that's not what this debate is about."
"And Planned Parenthood is an important provider of health care services, including family planning and cancer screenings for millions of Americans, particularly women," she said. "And they should be allowed to choose the health provider that they want. That's one of the issues that I care deeply about. But there are many others as well."
"I am optimistic we’ll prevail on that issue," the amendment, said the senator.
According to its 2015-16 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood performed 328,348 abortions in the year that ended on Sept. 30, 2015, and received $554.6 million in "government health services reimbursements and grants"--money that came from U.S. taxpayers--in the year that ended on June 30, 2016.
In its previous year, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions.
On Tuesday, June 27, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was delaying a vote on the health care legislation until after the July 4 holiday.