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Senate rejects plan to defund Planned Parenthood

A vote in the Senate to withdraw funding for the USA’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, was defeated yesterday by 53 – 46 votes.

Planned Parenthood has been widely scrutinised after videos filmed undercover revealed that the group were profiting from the sale of fetal tissue, were leaked.

The videos were released by undercover reporters, working for the Centre for Medical Progress. The journalists acted as representatives of fetal tissue procurement companies, and discussed with senior Planned Parenthood officials the price per “specimen” for the organs from aborted babies.

Religious and civic leaders have been putting pressure on government to withdraw federal funding of the organisation.

Pro-life rallies co-ordinated by the college outreach group Students for Life to defund Planned Parenthood, were held in over 60 cities on July 28.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote a letter on Monday asking the Senate to block federal funds for the organisation.

He wrote: “It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation’s largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year.

“The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more ‘intact’ organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans.”

After the videos were released, the Senate’s Health and Human Services panel started an investigation into Planned Parenthood.

Two House Committees are also investigating the organisation.