Planned Parenthood Sends A Gift To Senators That Stopped 'Skinny' Repeal Of Obamacare

With the stunning vote on Thursday night, Planned Parenthood's funding was preserved.

When Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and John McCain voted down the skinny repeal of Obamacare on Thursday night, they also preserved important funding for Planned Parenthood. 

In return, Planned Parenthood said they're sending #IStandWithPP capes to all the senators who voted to stop the defunding. Their original post on Twitter has since been removed, but The Washington Post's Dave Weigel also reported the news and was retweeted by the organization. 



The Republicans' effort to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood via a "skinny" bill failed in a dramatic 49-51 vote late Thursday night, sending a major blow to one of President Donald Trump's major campaign promises. 

Interestingly, the prospect of defunding Planned Parenthood was a major player in the skinny repeal not passing. Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Collins, two of only five Republican women in the Senate, expressed concern about the ramifications the defunding had for women's health care. It's estimated that one in five women will use Planned Parenthood at one point in their lives, and defunding of the organization would have threatened to shut down hundreds of clinics across the country. 

Planned Parenthood did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sen. McCain, who ended up casting the deciding vote in defeating the bill, expressed more concern about the process of passing the legislation than anything else. When asked why he voted the bill down, he had a simple response.

"I thought it was the right thing to do," he told reporters on his way out of the Senate chamber.

Much of the argument around defunding Planned Parenthood centers on abortion, a medical procedure the organization provides. But the issue isn't so simple: no federal funding for Planned Parenthood actually goes to abortion procedures, though that money is used to keep clinics open and serve other needs. 

In a statement on her "no" vote, Sen. Collins spoke at length about Planned Parenthood. She called the plan to defund it "misguided" and said it ran against the GOP's goal of letting Americans use the health care provider of their choice. 

"If Planned Parenthood were defunded, other family planning clinics in Maine, including community health centers, would see a 63 percent increase in their patient load," Collins said. "Some patients would need to drive greater distances to receive care, while others would have to wait longer for an appointment.Let me be clear that this is not about abortion. Federal law already prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk."

She also emphasized that Planned Parenthood offers family planning services, cancer screening and basic preventative health care.

"This is about interfering with the ability of a woman to choose the health care provider who is right for her," Sen. Collins said. "This harmful provision should have no place in legislation that purports to be about restoring patient choices and freedom."

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