August 3, 2015 - Issue: Vol. 161, No. 124 — Daily Edition114th Congress (2015 - 2016) - 1st Session
PROHIBITING FEDERAL FUNDING OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA--MOTION TO PROCEED; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 124
(Senate - August 03, 2015)
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[Pages S6215-S6228] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] PROHIBITING FEDERAL FUNDING OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA--MOTION TO PROCEED The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1881, which the clerk will report. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 169, S. 1881, a bill to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Mr. REID. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mrs. FISCHER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mrs. FISCHER. Mr. President, I rise to discuss Federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Every now and then we see something that is so horrific that we must answer it. And by now, we are all familiar with the deeply disturbing videos of Planned Parenthood doctors cavalierly discussing their practice and methods of harvesting baby body parts. Like so many Nebraskans, I am shocked by the lack of compassion for these women and their unborn babies. My colleague and friend from Iowa, Senator Joni Ernst, has introduced legislation that takes immediate action and cuts off funding for this scandal-plagued organization. I am proud to join her in sponsoring this very important legislation. This bill has nothing to do with whether one is pro-life or pro- choice. It is not going to settle the issue of abortion, which has divided our country for over 40 years. This bill simply says that taxpayer dollars should not go to organizations mired in scandal and likely illegal activity. This has nothing to do with ideology. It has nothing to do with religious conviction. This is about the responsible and conscientious use of Federal tax dollars. Elected officials have a responsibility to be wise stewards of public funding. I believe it is irresponsible to continue to support funding for a group that has lost the public's trust and engages in violations of Federal law. I believe it is important to note that Federal law clearly prohibits abortion providers from the intentional manipulation of the bodies of unborn children for the purposes of obtaining body parts. Section 498A of title 42 of the U.S. Code clearly states: In research carried out under subsection (a) of this section, human fetal tissue may be used only if the attending physician with respect to obtaining the tissue from the woman involved makes a statement, made in writing and signed by the physician, declaring that--No alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue. A video released on July 21, 2015, details a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing using a ``less crunchy'' abortion technique to get more whole specimens. Let me repeat the law: A doctor must certify that ``no alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.'' Senators can reach their own conclusions. I think the truth is pretty self-evident, and I believe the law and these videos speak for themselves. I wish to address another important point. This legislation is not an attack on women's health. To the contrary, as a mother and a grandmother, I am steadfastly committed to ensuring that all women have access to high-quality medical care. The legislation I intend to support today redirects funds to local health departments, hospitals, and community health centers. Our focus should be on supporting organizations that prioritize women's health, not organizations hiring pricey PR firms for damage control. Across the country there are 1,200 Federally qualified health centers and 9,000 clinic sites. These community health centers vastly outnumber the roughly 700 Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide. In Nebraska, we have 6 health centers and 36 clinic sites that have served over 64,000 people. These centers serve all of Nebraska--from the panhandle to our metropolitan areas in Omaha and Lincoln. Fifty-two percent of those patients are uninsured and 30 percent are on Medicaid. Meanwhile, there are only two Planned Parenthood centers in Nebraska. So it begs the question: Wouldn't patients be better served if that money was redirected to community health centers? I believe the answer is yes. These health centers deliver many--and sometimes more--of the health services provided by Planned Parenthood. In 2012 alone, federally qualified health centers performed 400,000 mammograms and over 2 million cervical cancer screenings. These health centers are better able to respond to the needs of these women because they are closer to the communities they serve. They are indispensable in providing preventive health services and preventive screenings to the uninsured and our medically underserved populations. In conclusion, I believe elected officials have a basic duty to stop sending tax dollars to an organization mired in scandal and likely illicit activity. It is time for us to come together and support truly compassionate care for women and their unborn children. It is time to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and to use that money for its original intent, which is providing resources and care for women's health. Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, I rise today to speak on an issue that has shaken the moral compass of our society. The phrase ``it's a boy'' is one we often use when celebrating new life. Instead, this was spoken by a Planned Parenthood employee as the body of an unborn baby boy was picked apart and harvested for organs, such as a liver, kidneys, and heart. We have watched [[Page S6216]] as other Planned Parenthood employees talked about ``less crunchy'' techniques to preserve baby organs for buyers and grumbled about a ``war torn'' unborn baby before being sold for parts. While it would be easier to ignore these videos, today we are standing up and shining a light on what is really happening. This is human life, and Planned Parenthood--the Nation's single largest provider of abortion services--is harvesting baby body parts. The American people are shocked and horrified by the utter lack of compassion and disregard shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies. This gruesome footage resonates with our collective conscience and goes against the very principles we stand for. As a mother and grandmother, I believe the gravity of Planned Parenthood's callus and morally reprehensible behavior cannot be ignored. I am committed to defending life because protecting the most vulnerable is an important measure of any society. I am proud to stand before you today with 45 cosponsors and offer legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood while safeguarding funding for women's health services. This legislation prohibits Federal funding for Planned Parenthood, protects Federal funding for women's health services, such as prenatal and post-partum care, cervical and breast cancer screenings, diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, and guarantees there will be no reduction in overall Federal funding available to support women's health. This legislation redirects Federal funding taken from Planned Parenthood to other eligible entities that provide health services for women, such as community health centers and hospitals. There would be absolutely no reduction in overall Federal funding available to support women's health. Community health centers provide more comprehensive primary and preventive health care services--except abortion-- regardless of a person's ability to pay. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood facilities do not perform in-house mammograms. The American taxpayers should not be asked to fund an organization such as Planned Parenthood that has shown a sheer disdain for human dignity and complete disregard for women and their babies. These videos are hard for anyone to defend and pull back the curtain on Planned Parenthood's careless practice of rummaging for unborn baby organs to be harvested and sold at a price. I leave you with this one question: Who do we want to be as a nation? Before us today is an opportunity to vote for legislation that will protect the most vulnerable and women's health. I thank the Presiding Officer, and I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Ernst). Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Madam President, even in the greatest deliberative body in this Nation and likely the world, there are moments of profound sadness and regret, and this moment is one for me. I am deeply dismayed that the Republican leadership is engaging in an effort--an effort doomed to fail in just a couple of hours--to defund probably the most trusted provider of health care for women in the United States of America. It is misguided because there are so many significant issues that should be front and center for this body: making sure that we invest in our roads and bridges, making sure that we improve our education system, making sure that we keep faith with our veterans. So many of them are going nowhere because of this partisan paralysis and gridlock. Dismayingly to the American people, that has prevented real action. I regret that we are, in effect, distracted from those goals and those missions that the American people expect us to fulfill. Once again, many of my colleagues across the aisle have aligned themselves with the most extreme of the anti-choice movement to undermine access to critical health care services for women--for millions of women in this country and thousands in Connecticut who depend on Planned Parenthood for basic health care screenings, cancer diagnosis, family planning, and contraception services, which distinguish it as one of the most trusted health care providers in the United States. It is the Republican leadership--not just a few Senators but the Republican leadership--that has set up this vote to defund Planned Parenthood. So instead of the Senate moving forward to provide additional health care services to women, it has engaged in this onslaught and assault on women's health care, taking a step back with legislation that is really--let me say bluntly--a political charade, a stunt, a bill or legislative measure that will go nowhere and is as much a sham for the supporters as it is for opponents. The fact is Planned Parenthood provides health care services to women across this country. Only 3 percent of its activity relates to abortion. So 97 percent of what it does is to provide screenings, diagnosis, and family planning. If this measure goes through, millions of women will be undiagnosed with cervical and breast cancer, millions of women will be denied access to contraception and family planning, and millions of young women will be denied the kind of education they need to prevent pregnancy. It is in preventing pregnancy that so often Planned Parenthood is engaged, and to make it safe, legal, and rare. Eliminating $528 million from the largest women's health care provider in the country would create a public health crisis. Pure and simple, a public health crisis would be the inevitable consequence of this measure to defund Planned Parenthood. Of the 2.7 million women Planned Parenthood serves every year, 78 percent are low-income women who depend on Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening, testing for sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis B vaccines, family planning counseling, education on how to recognize and leave abusive relationships, domestic violence, referrals to other medical specialists, and many other essential services that would be unaffordable and inaccessible without Planned Parenthood. Over half of Planned Parenthood's clinics serve women in medically underserved areas or in health provider shortage areas. So 13 of Connecticut's 17 women's health centers serve women in rural or medically underserved parts of my State. Defunding Planned Parenthood would mean 64,000 of my constituents could lose access to quality health services. Because there is no network of health care providers with the capacity to serve this population if Planned Parenthood is denied funding, millions of women--particularly Medicaid recipients--would lose access to quality health services, and the result would be a public health crisis. That is the stark reality of these numbers and statistics. Dry and abstract as they are, they stand for real-life consequences--real women whose lives will be inevitably transformed for the worse if this measure were to pass. Beyond the din of this place that so often consumes us--the confusion and the noise--there are real people whose lives will be affected by these kinds of measures and whose lives are affected even by the effort to defund Planned Parenthood because of the uncertainty and doubt that it creates. These real people are women such as Elizabeth A., who said: When I didn't have health insurance 3 years ago, I went to Planned Parenthood where I had access to safe, affordable, reproductive health care. I still go there for my health needs! I was able to get STD testing and birth control when I couldn't afford it anywhere else. Rachel S. of Naugatuck, CT: Birth control helped my husband and me put off having a family until we were financially ready to care for a child. The effects of pregnancy, both physically and financially, mean that free or low-cost birth control is an important factor in a successful future for both the woman and her family. And Nicole B. of West Haven, CT: I come to Planned Parenthood because it is a safe place to get birth control and exams. Everyone is helpful and non- judgmental. The city needs a place like this and many women benefit from Planned Parenthood services. These stories are from real people whose lives we in the Senate are supposed to care about. I care about them [[Page S6217]] because I know so many women whose lives have been affected by Planned Parenthood. I know so many of the staff and dedicated professionals who work at Planned Parenthood clinics. One spoke to me on Saturday afternoon--one of the low points last week during the controversy that has enveloped Planned Parenthood-- about how she was inspired and revived by simply passing by a room where one of the counselors was talking to a group of young people, both men and women, about the education that was important to them as far as preventing unwanted pregnancy and how seeing Planned Parenthood at work in that setting--the real work of providing health care and education--inspired her to keep going despite those difficulties. The fact is that over and over my constituents, the people of Connecticut, have told me they choose Planned Parenthood because of the professionalism, dedication, and nonjudgmental approach to their patients. Many view Planned Parenthood as a safe space to come when they need advice, when they need medical examinations. If Republicans succeed in defunding it, women will be without their most trusted health care provider. So many of them are relying on it because it is trustworthy, professional, and dedicated to them--first and foremost to them. Today I stand with Planned Parenthood and the thousands and thousands of women in Connecticut and around the country who benefited from their services. I will vehemently oppose these efforts to allow a secretive and dishonest group to discredit and to dismay so many. They have manipulated the facts, put employees and volunteers in danger, and have eliminated the organization's ability to provide essential services. But the important point is that we resist this effort today to defund an organization that has provided so many services to so many people in need and has enabled this Nation to avert a public health crisis that will ensue if we follow this misguided effort, and that we follow our better instincts and make sure that we keep the faith with women who need health care in this Nation. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. COATS. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. COATS. Madam President, William Wilberforce is a man whom I have, over the years, looked to as a role model and an example of what public service should be and what public servants should be. Wilberforce served as a Member of the British Parliament from 1784 to 1812. After an early career marked by what he described as doing nothing of purpose, Wilberforce then went through a transformational period of self-reflection. He emerged with a deepened faith, greater moral courage, and an unshakeable passion for ending the slave trade. He said: So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the [slave] trade's wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would: I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition. It took Wilberforce 20 years of blood, sweat, tears, and even death threats, but he succeeded in pushing the House of Commons and the House of Lords to put abolition into law when the Slave Trade Act of 1807 passed. I believe today, just 2 hours from now, we will have a William Wilberforce moment facing the Senate. Through a series of video releases over the past few weeks, the American people have learned about the shocking and barbaric practices Planned Parenthood uses to terminate innocent human lives. In several different videos, senior Planned Parenthood officials openly and candidly discussed the organ harvesting of fetuses. In one video, the senior director of medical research for Planned Parenthood explained the process by which aborted body parts are harvested. I am not going to describe that process on the floor. I talked about it last week. But for those who have seen the video and those who have read about the practices, it is abhorrent to hear the cold, calculating consideration of how best to disassemble, to tear apart, to rip apart a growing life so that they could harvest certain body parts and then sell them for research. And they were negotiating prices. It was like describing to somebody how they could go to Home Depot and pick things off the shelf: Let's see what this costs; no, maybe we can get a better price for this. But in this case we are talking about living human tissue being taken, harvested, and sold from aborted babies. So let's consider for a second what is the bottom line. The bottom line is we are talking about an organization that is embracing the dismembering of human life with taxpayer support. Millions of Americans who have seen these videos are outraged by the cavalier attitude that Planned Parenthood has about human life. Americans from all walks of life, Americans of different faiths and, maybe, even of different political parties abhor this. Then we learned that our tax dollars, our hard-earned tax dollars, are sent to an organization that practices these methods. Surely, we can come to a conclusion that this is something that violates the faith and beliefs of many millions Americans and is subsidized by the Federal taxpayer? Now, over the past few days, we have heard many who say they object to what Planned Parenthood is doing here. But, you know, we can't afford to stop funding many of the very important women's health services that Planned Parenthood provides. And this is an important consideration because I am sure every Senator here believes in ensuring that all women, regardless of their status and regardless of their financial situation, deserve to have access to vital services that health care providers provide. The bill before us that we will be voting on today, offered by the Presiding Officer, Senator Ernst of Iowa, addresses these concerns. Her legislation would transfer money provided to Planned Parenthood to a whole range of women's health care providers. I have the bill here in front of me. It is very simple, a very basic bill. I want to read from this bill: State and county health departments, community health centers, hospitals, physicians offices, and other entities currently provide, and will continue to provide, health services to women. Such health services include relevant diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning services including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and referrals. The bill goes on to say that such entities provide services to all persons, regardless of their ability to pay and provide services in medically underserved areas and to medically underserved populations. So what is being offered here and what we will be voting on this evening doesn't take anything away from women's ability--regardless of their financial situation or where they live--to have the services that are needed and need to ensure their health and the future health of their children. In the United States there are five times as many community health centers as there are Planned Parenthood operations. In my own State, we have 108 community health centers in urban and rural areas all throughout the State of Indiana--5 times the amount of Planned Parenthood facilities. So the issue of denying women needed health care simply is not the case under this legislation. The barbaric practice of conducting abortions in a way that promotes harvesting fetal organs or profiting from such practice has no place in a modern society. Planned Parenthood's practices, I would suggest, should not receive a dime of taxpayer money. The question is, Do we want taxpayer dollars to continue to support an organization that treats human body parts like a product on the shelves of a store? Today the Senate will decide if we fight for what we believe is morally right or whether we stand by and allow the trivialization of life to continue. I am here to urge my colleagues to vote yes on this vitally important piece of legislation that we will be taking up in less than 2 hours. [[Page S6218]] I yield the floor. Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. KING. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. KING. Madam President, I rise to speak in opposition to S. 1881, the bill that will be coming before us this afternoon, and I have several quick points that I think need to be made. The first is that this bill has nothing to do with abortion. Ninety- seven percent of the activities of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its associated facilities have nothing to do with abortion. They have to do with women's health, they have to do with cancer screening, and they have to do with contraception and early detection. The 3 percent that do involve abortion have no involvement whatsoever with Federal funds. This is not a case where Federal funds are going to support abortion or any of the related activities. The net effect of this bill is simply to deny basic health care, including contraception, to millions of women, particularly low-income women. And the irony is that it will undoubtedly increase abortions in this country. I have never understood why people who are opposed to abortion also seem to be opposed to the provision of family planning and contraceptive information which can prevent unwanted pregnancies and, indeed, prevent abortions. The Guttmacher Institute, a respected, nonpartisan institution, estimates that without family planning information supplied by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, abortions would increase in this country by 345,000 a year. That is not a result anybody wants. It is certainly not one I want. That would mean an increase in abortions--345,000 a year. I understand the bill does make funds generally available to a whole host of different organizations, some of which may or may not provide the kinds of family planning services that have been provided for over 70 years by Planned Parenthood. It is a narrower network. It eliminates clinics that have been available to women and doctors who have been available to women for many years. Ironically, amidst all the discussion about the Affordable Care Act, a criticism which was ``Maybe you can't keep your own doctor,'' this is a bill designed to keep you away from your doctor, the doctor you have been seeing and have confidence in at a clinic run by Planned Parenthood. The issue, which my colleague from Indiana noted, is not about abortion. It is not about Planned Parenthood. It is not about contraception. It is about fetal tissue and the uses of fetal tissue and how fetal tissue should be controlled and whether it should be allowed to be used for medical research. But that is a debate we should have on that issue. There is no reason we should be defunding Planned Parenthood because of a debate we may or may not want to have in the future about the use of fetal tissue. We are denying medical services to women--particularly low-income women--because of an issue that has nothing to do with the 97 percent of services this organization provides. To me, this bill is like attacking Brazil after Pearl Harbor--it is a vigorous response, but it is the wrong target. If the concern is Planned Parenthood or any other organization having access to fetal tissue and then using that tissue in medical research-- by the way, designed to save lives and ameliorate the effects of diseases such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's--then let's focus on that. Let's talk about whether it should be legal, how it should be controlled, what the limitations should be. But we should not eliminate an organization which for many years--almost 100 years--has been providing health care for women, particularly low-income women, basic female health care such as cancer screenings and contraception and family planning. This is a straightforward attack on women's health, in my view, particularly the health of low-income women. ``No American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.'' That radical statement wasn't made by me. It wasn't made by Jimmy Carter. It wasn't made by John F. Kennedy. It was made by that known radical Richard M. Nixon in 1970. So access to family planning information goes back almost 50 years. If people in this body don't think that is appropriate, then let's debate that, but let's not use this collateral issue of fetal tissue, which we can debate, to defund an organization that serves the needs of many women in my State and in States across the country, particularly low-income women. Two-thirds of Planned Parenthood's patients are low-income women. They serve the needs of those women in a responsible, legal, and thoughtful way. This is targeting an organization for the wrong reason. If we want to discuss fetal tissue and how to deal with it and what the pros and cons are, then let's do so, but I don't believe it is appropriate to do it in the context of legislation that will basically crush an organization that has been enormously helpful in maintaining women's health throughout this country and will not, in fact, end whatever concerns people have about the use of fetal tissue. Again, Madam President, this bill has nothing to do with abortion. It has everything to do with women's health. I hope my colleagues will move on, debate the real issues, and oppose this ill-founded and I believe unsupported piece of legislation. Madam President, I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The remarks of Ms. Collins pertaining to the introduction of S. 1917 are printed in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.'') The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine. Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I am informed that it is in order for me to file the substitute amendment that I just described, and I send that to the desk. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment will be received. Ms. COLLINS. Thank you, Madam President. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon. Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, this weekend I watched the Planned Parenthood videos that are in the news, including one in which the organization's leadership says very clearly that the statements made by some of their staff are totally unacceptable. I believe that is important for everyone to hear. With that said, here is the great danger with the legislation before the Senate today: This bill paints a big red target on some of the most basic, essential health care services for women in America: birth control, gone; pregnancy tests, gone; prenatal services, gone; HIV tests, gone; breast cancer screenings, gone; cervical cancer screenings, gone; ovarian cancer screenings, gone; vaccinations that prevent cancers, gone; treatment for urinary tract infections, gone; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, gone; basic physical exams, gone; treatment for digestive or breathing problems, gone; treatment for chronic conditions, gone; pediatric care, gone; adoption referrals, gone; nutrition programs, gone; referrals to hospitals and specialists, gone. When you wipe out Planned Parenthood's funding, you dramatically and painfully reduce women's access to services that have absolutely nothing to do with abortion--nothing to do with abortion. This bill will take away the guarantee that Medicaid patients have their free choice of doctors in the program. The people who this bill will hurt the most are poor women who have nowhere else to turn. I urge my colleagues today to drop this misguided campaign. Instead of restricting women's access to health care services--such as the ones I have just outlined--let's work on a bipartisan basis to improve access to health care services for women in America. I yield the floor. [[Page S6219]] The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas. Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, as the Presiding Officer knows, we will have a very important vote about an hour and a half from now on a bill that would eliminate taxpayer funding for abortions, consistent with four decades of U.S. law. Contrary to the comments made by our friend from Oregon who just spoke, rather than withhold those funds, it would take that same amount of money and redirect it for women's health services and actually give them better access to health services at the same time. In other words, this legislation will fund women's health care but not abortions on the taxpayers' dime. I particularly want to thank Senator Ernst, Senator Lankford, Senator Fischer, and Senator Paul for their leadership on this important issue. This is the beginning of the fight to regain America's conscience and the fight to restore the law that has been on the books for 40 years when it comes to taxpayer funding of abortions. We all understand that the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade has held that abortion is a right. But we also know that there is a rare area where there is a consensus between pro-choice and pro-life people, such as myself, and that is that we draw the line--and have since 1976--when it comes to taxpayer funding of abortions. Of course, what brought us to this point most immediately was that our collective conscience was shocked by videos depicting Planned Parenthood executives discussing the harvesting and sale of the organs of unborn babies--an abhorrent, disgusting practice that we cannot ignore. Perhaps the only thing more shocking than the actual dismembering of unborn children for sale is the cavalier attitudes by the Planned Parenthood staff who seem to have sacrificed their humanity and show so little regard for the sanctity of human life. What was shown in these videos is an outrage, and it demands our action. Many of our colleagues from across the aisle have cited their own disapproval of what has been presented in these videos. They will be given an opportunity at 5:30 when we vote on the motion to proceed to get on this bill to demonstrate that their actions actually match their words. According to one report, the junior Senator from Indiana said he found the comments by Planned Parenthood personnel in the video disgraceful. Similarly, the junior Senator from Virginia said that he found the videos ``extremely troubling.'' When asked about the videos last week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also called them ``disturbing.'' And they are. Like our recent successful bipartisan efforts to fight the scourge of human trafficking, we have a rare opportunity to make a difference and address the moral imperative to defend those who cannot defend themselves. It is important--because I have already heard some of our colleagues misrepresent what is in the bill--to remind everybody what this bill actually does. First and foremost, it eliminates Federal funding for one of the country's largest abortion providers--Planned Parenthood. In fiscal year 2014, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions. At the same time, Planned Parenthood received $528 million from Federal taxpayers. Planned Parenthood reported revenue in fiscal 2014 of $1.1 billion. In other words, almost half of its income came from tax dollars from the Federal Government at the same time they performed 327,653 abortions. You will hear some of our friends who are defending Planned Parenthood say: Oh, well, this is different because the money is kept separate. But we know that money that comes from the Federal Government can keep the lights on and keep the doors open so the abortions can continue to be performed. It is simply a fiction to claim that Federal tax dollars are not supporting conduct proscribed by the Hyde amendment for the last 40 years. We don't stop there, though, when it comes to this legislation. As I mentioned at the outset, we would actually redirect the money to ensure that taxpayer dollars that once went to Planned Parenthood now go to provide for women's health, such as in thousands of community health centers across the country. I am a big fan of community health centers because they really represent one-stop shopping when it comes to primary health care needs. The ironic thing is we can actually provide better access and more access for women by transferring the money from Planned Parenthood to community health centers and other nonabortion providers. For example, in my State, we have as many as eight times more community health centers as there are Planned Parenthood providers. We can provide women with eight times more opportunity to see that their health care needs are taken care of and at the same time respect the law that prohibits taxpayer dollars to be used for abortions and to support abortions. In fact, according to data from 2013--the most recently available nationwide--every State in the country has more community health centers than Planned Parenthood clinics. Since I didn't want to mention all 50 of them here--that would be a little overwhelming and be hard to read at the same time--I just picked out two States, along with the nationwide statistic--13 community health centers to every 1 Planned Parenthood provider that would still be able to provide primary health care services to women under this legislation. But if we look at Indiana, for example, we would have four times more providers under this legislation. In the State of Virginia, we would have 20 times more providers by simply defunding Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider, and using tax dollars and transferring that money to community health centers. We can actually provide greater access for women's health care. Let's be clear, because I suspect, as I have already heard when I came to the floor, that there will be a lot of misrepresentation about what is in the bill. We need to be clear. This legislation defends women's health and ensures women access across the country to essential health services. As I said a few moments ago, in many respects the debate that we are having was already decided in 1976, the year of the Hyde amendment, named after Henry Hyde, which, as my colleagues all know, prevents taxpayer dollars from funding abortions, except in rare circumstances. We talked about that a lot during the course of the anti-human trafficking bill. But this has been the law of the land for 40 years. I strongly encourage all of our colleagues to vote to get on this bill. An organization that so callously reduces our most vulnerable to spare parts for sale has no business receiving any money from the Federal taxpayers. If people want to raise money from other private sources to support this effort, then let them do that. But tax dollars are not available and should not be available to fund Planned Parenthood's abortion practice--again, the largest single abortion provider in America. While many of our colleagues on the other side have agreed that the vile practices that we witnessed in these videos are disturbing, still some have tried to put off having this discussion at all. I think what would be the biggest failure on our part--no matter what the outcome of our vote on the underlying legislation--would be to fail to have this discussion and this debate for the American people to hear so we can get their input. The real travesty would be if we shut off debate because 60 Senators didn't see fit to vote to get on the bill. That vote will be in roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes. There are others who say we simply have more important things to do. I disagree. For example, the senior Senator from New York said consideration of this bill was ``wasting valuable time'' and that we should instead ``[start] urgent budget negotiations.'' Really? Really? I hardly know what to say. To those who share my disgust for the conduct depicted in these videos and who agree they are disgraceful, disturbing, and extremely troubling, how can you now turn around and refuse to vote with us to get on this legislation so we can have that discussion, so we can have that debate, and so we can vote our conscience? If your conscience is shocked by the footage in these videos, I really can't see how anybody could possibly vote no on this legislation at 5:30 when we vote to get on the bill. Somehow, we as a nation have been lulled into a sense of complacency and have become somehow so desensitized to these barbaric practices depicted in these videos that they no longer stimulate us to act. But today we have a [[Page S6220]] chance on behalf of the American people, the people we collectively represent, to act and to act in a way that protects the most vulnerable. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, thanks to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, the Senate is unfortunately taking a vote on whether critical health care services should be taken away from millions of women across the country. We will be voting on whether a young woman should be able to go to a provider she trusts to get birth control, whether cancer screenings should be more or less available to women across the country, and whether the U.S. Senate is going to turn back the clock on women's health. To me--and to many Democrats and even some Republicans who want to help women get the care they need--it is deeply disappointing that we are even having this debate because extreme Republicans have attacked Planned Parenthood and women's health so many times before--on the budget, the highway bill, the Affordable Care Act, and even on the legislation I introduced last week to help wounded veterans start families. That is right. Some of my Republican colleagues were more interested in scoring political points with their extreme base by picking fights over women's health than they were in helping our wounded veterans. Unfortunately, it is clear they will jump at any opportunity to put politics before women's health. The bill we are talking about this evening that would defund Planned Parenthood is just more of the same. My Republican colleagues who support this bill claim it would simply redirect funding for Planned Parenthood to other providers. Let's keep in mind that 2.7 million people visited Planned Parenthood for their health care last year, and 1 out of every 5 women in the United States will visit a Planned Parenthood center at some point in her life. So Planned Parenthood is a critical source of health care in communities across this country, and claiming that other providers can simply absorb those patients is like saying you can pour a bucket of water into a cup. It will not work. Instead, what this bill would actually do is take access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests, and other important preventive care away from women. It would leave families and communities without trusted, quality health care providers they rely on, and it would mean that in the United States of America in the 21st century the tea party gets to tell women what doctors they can or cannot go to. I am not going to let that happen, and I know many of my colleagues here today agree. So this legislation is going nowhere, and, just as we have every other time they have tried these partisan tactics, we are sending a very clear message to those who choose political pandering over women's health. Political attacks and threats to shut down the government are not going to get in the way of women's access to the care they need--not on our watch. Why? Because we know millions of women and their families are counting on us, and we are going to keep standing up for them. I will close today by sharing the story of a woman from my home State of Washington. Shannon is from Tumwater, WA. When she was a teenager, she experienced ``unbearable pain'' and went to see a doctor to find out whether she had endometriosis. That is a serious disease that can keep women from having children if it goes untreated. Her doctor told her she was far too young to have endometriosis and sent her home. A few years later when she turned 18, Shannon tried again, and this time she went to a Planned Parenthood center. There, her provider confirmed that she did indeed have endometriosis. Her lesions were removed, and Shannon got the medication to manage her condition, thanks to Planned Parenthood. She no longer has to live with chronic pain, and now she is the proud mother of a little girl. Shannon said, ``My daughter is truly a gift, and I really have Planned Parenthood to thank for her.'' So today, as many Members on the other side of the aisle vote to take health care away from women and their families, as they try as hard as they can to appeal to the extreme fringe of their party no matter the cost, I hope they think of women like Shannon whose lives are happier and healthier because of the services Planned Parenthood provides to so many communities in our country. That is whom I will be thinking about. I am very proud to vote no tonight and will continue to keep fighting for women, their health care, and their rights. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts. Ms. WARREN. Madam President, I come to the Senate floor to ask my Republican colleagues a question: Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down and hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the U.S. Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women's health care centers. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't be that surprised. The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women's rights to make choices about their own bodies. Just look at the recent facts. In 2013, Republicans threatened to shut down the government unless they could change the law to let employers deny women access to birth control. In March of this year, Republicans held up a noncontroversial, bipartisan bill to stop human trafficking. Why? Because they demanded new anti-abortion restrictions to cover private funding meant to help the victims of human trafficking. In June, House Republicans passed a budget eliminating funding for the Title X Family Planning Program, the only Federal grant program that provides birth control, HIV tests, STD screening, and other preventive services for poor and uninsured people. Over the past few years, Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times, including the portions that require insurers to cover contraception. Let's be clear. It is not just Congress. Over the past 5 years Republican State legislators have passed nearly 300 new restrictions on abortion access. This year alone Republican State legislators have passed more than 50 new restrictions on women's access to legal health care. Let's be really clear about something. The Republican scheme to defund Planned Parenthood is not some sort of surprised response to a highly edited video. Nope. The Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood is just one more piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated, rightwing attack on women's rights, and I am sick and tired of it. Women everywhere are sick and tired of it. The American people are sick and tired of it. Scheduling this vote during the week of a big FOX News Presidential primary debate, days before candidates take trips to Iowa or New Hampshire, isn't just some clever gimmick. This is an all-out effort to build support to take away a woman's right to control her own body and access to medical care she may need. This affects all of us, whatever your age, wherever you live. I guarantee that you know someone who has used Planned Parenthood health care centers. No one may mention it at Thanksgiving dinner or post it on Facebook for the whole world to know, but just look at the facts. One in five women in America is a Planned Parenthood patient at least once in her life. Every single year nearly 2.7 million women and men show up for help at Planned Parenthood. Why do so many people use Planned Parenthood? Because they are nonprofit and they are open. More than half of Planned Parenthood centers are located in areas without ready access to health care. Women who can't get appointments anywhere else go to Planned Parenthood for pap tests and cancer screenings. Couples go to Planned Parenthood for STD treatments or pregnancy tests. Young people go to Planned Parenthood for birth control. And, yes, 3 percent of patients visit Planned Parenthood for a safe and [[Page S6221]] legal abortion with a doctor who will show compassion and care for a woman who is making one of the most difficult decisions of her entire life. To be clear, even though the abortions performed at Planned Parenthood are safe and legal, the Federal Government is not paying for any of them--not one dime. For almost 40 years the Federal Government has prohibited Federal funding for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or life endangerment. Most of the money Planned Parenthood receives from the government comes in the form of Medicaid payments for medical care provided to low-income patients, the same payments any other doctor or clinic receives for providing cancer screenings or other medical exams. The rest of Planned Parenthood's Federal funding comes from title X that provides birth control to low-income and uninsured people, the same program the House Republicans voted to cut in June. The government doesn't fund abortions, period. A vote today to defund Planned Parenthood is not a vote to defund abortions. It is a vote to defund cancer screenings, birth control, and basic health care for millions of women. I say to my Republican colleagues: The year is 2015, not 1955 and not 1895. Women have lived through a world where backward-looking ideologues tried to interfere with the basic health decisions made by a woman and her doctor, and we are not going back--not now, not ever. The Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood is a Republican plan to defund women's health care. For my daughter, for my granddaughters, for people all across Massachusetts, and all across this country, I stand with Planned Parenthood, and I hope my colleagues will do the same. I thank the Presiding Officer, and I yield the floor. Mr. HATCH. Madam President, Congress provides billions of dollars in taxpayer money for many different programs in various areas, including women's health. Sometimes, however, we have to draw the line, rearrange our priorities, and put some things off-limits. This is one of those times. The taxpayers should not be funding an organization engaged not only in the abortion business but, as we now know, in the baby body parts business. In the last fiscal year, Planned Parenthood received more than one- half billion dollars of taxpayer money in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements. That is nearly $1.5 million per day, every day, and more than 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's revenue. The group's annual reports reveal what it does. In the last 3 years, it performed nearly 1 million abortions. In fact, this taxpayer-supported organization is the nation's largest abortion provider. Some of Planned Parenthood's propaganda suggests the group focuses more on promoting pregnancies than ending them. But the numbers reveal the truth. Abortion accounts for 94 percent of Planned Parenthood's pregnancy services. The number of Planned Parenthood abortions dwarfs its recipients of prenatal care by more than 15 to 1. Planned Parenthood performs 174 abortions for every 1 adoption referral. In fact, Planned Parenthood's abortion business is growing while its adoption referrals and prenatal care services are shrinking. We are also told that Planned Parenthood provides other women's health services. Those same annual reports, however, show that cancer prevention services are down 17 percent over the year before. Planned Parenthood does not provide what the American Cancer Society calls a ``very effective and valuable tool'' for breast cancer screening: mammograms. That procedure requires an FDA certification and no Planned Parenthood clinic in America has such a certification. It is no wonder that Planned Parenthood has fought anything that could conceivably reduce the number of abortions. That is the business they are in. They oppose measures to inform women about abortion dangers or alternatives, they oppose any kind of involvement by parents when children seek an abortion. They even oppose restricting the horrible practice of partial-birth abortion. We have learned recently what such a commitment to abortion produces. Not one, not two, not three, but four videos released so far show Planned Parenthood's own leaders discussing the harvesting and selling of baby parts as casually as a mechanic sells car parts. They discuss how Planned Parenthood abortionists arrange their procedures and techniques to obtain the intact baby body parts that they need. These videos are revolting. They reveal an attitude toward human life that I thought we left behind long ago, when we decided human beings were not commodities to be traded. Planned Parenthood has responded to these videos with propaganda and distraction. After the first video was released, for example, they said that it had been heavily edited, and their comments were taken out of context. That is often the first response by someone exposed by their own words. I urge my colleagues and fellow citizens not to be distracted. The Center for Medical Progress, which released the video, has made the full video and complete transcript available. Planned Parenthood also claims that it receives cost reimbursement for the ``services'' it provides. I remind my colleagues of two things. First, even if that were true, these are costs associated with the harvesting of baby body parts. We must never forget what is at the heart of this whole thing--the harvesting and selling of pre-born body parts. Second, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services says in one of the videos that if they can ``do better than break even,'' they are ``happy to do it.'' It appears that Planned Parenthood's only guideline is that ``this is not something that you should be making an exorbitant amount of money on.'' In the fourth video, a Planned Parenthood medical director talks about how ``a little bit of training'' will make sure that fetal organs can be removed intact. She says that charging a fee for each body part ``works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.'' And to top it all off, this medical director talks about how calling this gruesome business ``research'' helps to avoid getting caught. The truth about Planned Parenthood is finally coming out, and Congress should respond in two ways. First, we should exercise our oversight authority to investigate how Planned Parenthood is using the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars it annually receives. Federal law, for example, makes it illegal ``for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any fetal tissue for valuable consideration.'' If our investigation turns up any evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing, such evidence should be turned over to the proper authorities. Second, we should stop giving Planned Parenthood taxpayer money. Even if the investigations show that Planned Parenthood has broken no laws, regulations, or other rules, we should get American taxpayers out of the business of harvesting and selling baby body parts. Senator Ernst's bill would do just that. The abortion lobby's misdirection, distraction, and spin are already in high gear. Last week here on the Senate floor, one of my Democratic colleagues said that this bill is an ``attack on women's health.'' It is no such thing. Planned Parenthood is not the only provider of prenatal services or cancer screenings. It is, however, the only organization financed by American taxpayers that traffics in baby body parts. Just as everyone should judge Planned Parenthood's words for themselves, everyone should also read this bill for themselves. It says that while Planned Parenthood will no longer receive taxpayer money, overall funding for women's health will not decrease. This bill supports women's health but defunds Planned Parenthood. This bill does not prohibit Planned Parenthood from performing abortions, it does not even prohibit Planned Parenthood from continuing its practice of harvesting and selling baby body parts. But if Planned Parenthood wants to be in this gruesome business, it should do so without being subsidized by American taxpayers. I reiterate that this bill does not reduce services for women's health by a single dime. Healthcare providers all over this country, including community health centers, offer all sorts of services for women. These include the very services that my Democratic colleague mentioned here last week, such [[Page S6222]] as cancer screenings, vaccinations, breast exams, and HIV testing. Under this bill, Federal funding for such services will not be reduced, but rather re-directed to providers who are not involved in the sordid and contemptible baby body parts business. The recent revelations about Planned Parenthood have pulled back the curtain on something very ugly in our culture. Millions of abortions over multiple decades have devalued human life to the point where--at least to some--preborn babies are little more than commodities, collections of parts that can be harvested and sold. Is that the kind of country we want? No, it is not. We should use this opportunity to examine our values to chart a better course. Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, we are now 7 months into the 114th Congress, and our Nation is faced with many challenges. Less than 1 year ago, the American people were promised that if Republicans took control of the Senate, our focus would be on committee-reported bills and promoting bipartisanship. Leader McConnell pledged not to fill the amendment tree and instead to allow for an open amendment process when bills were brought to the floor. These promises have already been broken and this week we will likely see them broken again. We are just a few days before the first debate for the many Republicans seeking their party's nomination for President. Given the crowded stage, they have already resorted to attention-getting attacks designed to excite the most extreme right wing of their base. It should surprise no one then that at the top of the Senate's agenda this week is a bill that would jeopardize the health and well-being of women across the country. I spoke in opposition to this misguided, partisan effort last week. It is disappointing that instead of using the few remaining weeks before the end of the fiscal year working to reach an agreement on how to fund the government, we are considering ideologically-driven legislation to bar funding for Planned Parenthood health centers. This issue is unfortunately all too familiar. A few years ago, a small but vocal minority nearly shut down the Federal Government over a provision prohibiting funding for Planned Parenthood. Thankfully, we prevailed in the end, removing the rider and assuring women's access to vital health care. I hope the Senate makes the right choice again today. This latest attack on women's health is fueled by an extreme organization that is in the process of releasing surreptitiously recorded videos, which the group heavily edited in a misleading way to suggest wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood. The Attorney General is currently reviewing the matter, and I have every confidence that if there is credible evidence to warrant an investigation of any of the parties involved in the videos, the Justice Department will act. The bill before the Senate today would affect the lives of millions of American women, men, and young people who trust and depend on Planned Parenthood for their basic health care needs, including annual health exams, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and HIV screenings. Last year in Vermont, Planned Parenthood centers provided critical primary and preventive services to over 16,000 patients. In a small State like Vermont, this impact cannot be overstated. Proponents of this bill argue that if we defund Planned Parenthood, women will find care at other health centers. This is simply not the case. Planned Parenthood centers overwhelmingly serve populations in rural and medically underserved parts of the country where access to health care, especially for low-income individuals, is difficult. In fact, over 90 percent of Vermont's Planned Parenthood centers are located in rural or medically-underserved areas. Many women in my State describe Planned Parenthood as their primary source of health care. What this partisan bill would do is force the women in Vermont who have trusted Planned Parenthood for their health care to try to find another doctor where few are available, or, more likely, go without care at all. That undermines all of our efforts to strengthen our Nation's health care system, and ensure access to care for everyone. Planned Parenthood health centers are eligible for Federal funds in two ways, and under the Hyde amendment, funds cannot be used for abortion services except in very limited circumstances. First, Planned Parenthood centers can receive Federal grant funding through title X of the Public Health Service Act. Title X is the only Federal grant program dedicated to offering people comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. President Nixon was instrumental in enacting this legislation, and it has long been supported by lawmakers and Presidents of both parties. It cannot be emphasized enough that title X was a remarkable breakthrough in women's health care. The second way Planned Parenthood receives Federal funding is through Medicaid reimbursements, when women using Medicaid choose a Planned Parenthood provider as their doctor. The federally supported services offered by Planned Parenthood are the core of their work and mission. Despite the misleading and blatantly false statements of some ideologically-driven advocates, more than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood health centers offer is preventive care like cancer screenings, annual checkups, and contraception. As noted by several observers over the weekend, the irony is that defunding Planned Parenthood would result in more unintended pregnancies, and probably more abortions. Should we walk back from the remarkable progress we have made as a nation in women's health? Of course not. But I am concerned that we still see this same irresponsible attack surfacing again and again. It is 2015. It is time for the mean-spirited and ideological assaults on women's health care to end. The arrogance and shortsighted attitude of a minority has put at risk the lives and health of millions of women. Does this Congress care more about what looks good on a bumper sticker or what matters in the daily lives of real people? My wife Marcelle is a cancer survivor. We were lucky. We had good health care and the ability to pay the bills when she got sick. Others are not so lucky. Without the services that Planned Parenthood provides, thousands of low-income women in Vermont would lose their ability to have regular cancer screenings that could save their lives too. That we are even considering the elimination of these health services to America's women is shameful. What a travesty it would be to gut health services that have literally meant the difference between life or death, health or grave illness, to countless American women. This bill is merely an effort to score political points at the expense of women's health. I hope the Senate rejects this irresponsible, partisan legislation. I urge the Senate majority leadership to return to its promise that it would lead this Chamber responsibly and act through regular order. Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, I am strongly opposed to the bill before us today, S. 1881, introduced by Senator Ernst. I stand in strong support of Planned Parenthood, which every year provides 2.7 million people--including over 30,000 Marylanders and one in five women--with important health care services, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease, STD, testing and counseling, and birth control. The bill before us today does one thing. It defunds Planned Parenthood. Every year Planned Parenthood health centers receive approximately $520 million in Federal funds to provide preventive health services to 2.7 million people in the United States, including one in five women. These services include cancer screenings, STD testing and counseling, and birth control. If the Ernst bill passes, Planned Parenthood would lose that money and could no longer provide those services to women and men in need. For decades, anti-choice activists have looked for any excuse to eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood health centers because they use non-Federal funds to provide legal abortions. This time around, the excuse is that we should defund Planned Parenthood because of some misleading videos. Videos that, while uncomfortable in nature, have shown nothing illegal to date. Let us talk about what Planned Parenthood means to Maryland. In my [[Page S6223]] State, Planned Parenthood is a leading provider of high-quality and affordable health care for so many women, men, and young people. Every year in MD, more than 33,000 patients receive health care from Planned Parenthood health centers. And what types of health care are Marylanders getting from these health centers? Approximately 5,000 breast exams every year. Nearly 4,000 cervical cancer screenings and Pap tests. More than 34,000 STD tests and counseling sessions. And more than 26,000 Marylanders rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for birth control. The bill before us today is just the latest in a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood. Those supporting this bill are simply latching on to yet another misguided attempt to try and eliminate Planned Parenthood in an effort to undermine women's reproductive rights. I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill on behalf of the 2.7 million people, and 1 in 5 American women, who rely on Planned Parenthood for their health care. Mr. NELSON. Madam President, before us this evening is a decision whether or not to take money away from Planned Parenthood. For close to 100 years, Planned Parenthood has provided critical health services to millions, providing care to 2.7 million people in 2013 alone. In fact, many Planned Parenthood affiliates operate in rural and medically underserved areas. In some cases, closing these facilities could cause patients to travel great distances to receive health services. Now, that said, I find the videos at issue to be extremely disturbing and I believe we have a responsibility to determine all the facts. More investigation is needed before we even start talking about taking away vital health services like annual wellness exams and cancer screenings from the millions who rely on them for care. Mr. VITTER. Madam President, I would like to take a moment to express my sincere disappointment in Planned Parenthood's apparent disregard for human life. As a father of four and a strong advocate for the sanctity of life, I am deeply disturbed by reports of the gruesome and inhuman actions being performed by Planned Parenthood and their affiliates. I am proud to be a lead coauthor of Senator Ernst's bill that we are considering today to defund this organization and hope my fellow Senators will put the sanctity of life ahead of any political interests. Last year, Planned Parenthood received $528 million in taxpayer funding, or more than $1.4 million per day, accounting for 41 percent of Planned Parenthood's overall revenue. Although the organization claims to use this funding to provide necessary health services to women, the fact is that abortions made up 94 percent of Planned Parenthood's pregnancy services in 2013, while prenatal care and adoption referrals accounted for 5 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. Given our current fiscal climate and the level of division among Americans on this issue, there is no justification for continuing to subsidize Planned Parenthood's profitable venture with taxpayer dollars. It is time for big abortion businesses like this one to be investigated and defunded. Senator Ernst's bill, of which I am very proud to be a lead co- author, would prohibit Planned Parenthood, or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics, from receiving any Federal funds. Instead, funds that are currently offered to Planned Parenthood would be available to other eligible entities to provide women's health care services, including diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well- child care, prenatal and postnatal care, immunizations, and cervical and breast cancer screenings. The sanctity of human life is a principle that Congress should proclaim at every opportunity. The time has come to respect the wishes of the majority of Americans who adamantly oppose using taxpayer dollars for abortions by denying Federal funds to these abortion providers. I strongly encourage the support of my fellow Senators on efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and protect these innocent babies from being the target of Planned Parenthood's gruesome practices. Ms. WARREN. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. FRANKEN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. FRANKEN. Madam President, I rise today to speak in strong opposition to legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood and jeopardize women's access to health care. Each year Planned Parenthood opens its doors to millions of Americans, including more than 54,000 people in my State of Minnesota, people who need affordable, quality health care, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy tests, and family planning services. One in five women in this country has received that care at Planned Parenthood, and for many women Planned Parenthood is their primary source of health care. Yet today the Senate is considering opening debate on a proposal to defund Planned Parenthood--a proposal to block this health care provider from continued participation in our Federal safety net health programs. It is a proposal that would close Planned Parenthood's doors and leave millions without a provider. Make no mistake, this proposal has nothing to do with protecting women's health. Instead, it advances a political agenda that threatens women's ability to receive often lifesaving care. In my State of Minnesota alone, Planned Parenthood provided more than 9,000 cervical cancer screenings and nearly 14,000 screenings for breast cancer in just 1 year. These screenings save women's lives, women such as Liz Steele from Minneapolis. Liz's first job after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire didn't offer health insurance, so she relied on Planned Parenthood for basic health care services. When a blood sample taken during a routine physical exam more than 25 years ago indicated that Liz had a deadly form of leukemia, the nurse practitioner who cared for Liz at Planned Parenthood tracked her down and connected her with a physician who treated her cancer and saved her life. Liz said, ``Without [the nurse's] persistence, I quite frankly wouldn't be here right now. Planned Parenthood is responsible for saving my life.'' Unfortunately, the bill we are discussing today ignores women like Liz. Rather than recognizing Planned Parenthood's role in protecting women's health, the legislation continues a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood and on women's access to basic health care. We have seen this strategy before. In 2007, the Senate voted on a measure that would have eliminated support for any health care provider--including Planned Parenthood--that provides safe, legal abortion services. In 2011, the Senate voted on a proposal that singled out Planned Parenthood by name and would have disqualified it from receiving Federal support. Each time, these attempts to place political hurdles between a woman and the health care provider of her choice failed--by a vote of 41 to 52 in 2007 and 42 to 58 in 2011. Today's attempt will fail as well. Recently, antiabortion activists secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood doctors and staff. In these videos, some of the physicians captured on tape did not treat the issue of reproductive health services with the appropriate level of sensitivity. I was glad to see that the president of Planned Parenthood apologized for the tone of those remarks. But these videos--deceptively edited to paint a misleading picture of the organization--were designed to distort the truth and create controversy, a controversy that opponents of reproductive rights are now exploiting by pushing the same failed strategy, only this time they have focused their opposition to reproductive rights in disingenuous rhetoric that purports to value women's health. The bill's lead sponsor claimed that ``[t]here will be no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women's health.'' Another cosponsor of this legislation claimed the bill would ``provide additional money for women's primary health care services,'' but the bill's operative language makes no [[Page S6224]] such commitment. It merely provides that ``no federal funds may be made available to Planned Parenthood.'' What the bill's proponents choose not to acknowledge is that Planned Parenthood health centers serve 36 percent of all patients who receive health care from a federally supported women's health center--more than any other provider--but those sponsors have no plan for where the millions of patients currently receiving health care from Planned Parenthood would go if this legislation were successful--no plan. Moreover, claims that opponents of Planned Parenthood support continuing or even increasing funding for women's health services are especially hard to believe in light of the fact that some of the same people also support cutting the very programs that fund women's health services now. Just a little over 1 month ago, House appropriators approved a spending bill that would completely eliminate the title X family planning program--the Nation's only Federal program exclusively dedicated to reproductive health care. Senate appropriators proposed slashing title X--a program that is already running on fumes--by $30 million. So claims that a bill to ban one of America's most trusted health care providers from Federal programs would support women's health--claims made while the bill's proponents are working to gut Federal programs that provide services like breast and pelvic exams, contraceptives, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and HIV--are nothing short of preposterous. It is no secret that attacks on Planned Parenthood are part and parcel of a longstanding campaign to make safe and legal abortion in this country virtually impossible to access. Ironically, the defunding of Planned Parenthood would interfere with the delivery of health care that actually prevents unintended pregnancy and reduces the need for abortion. If the proponents of this bill were truly sincere in their desire to support women's health, they would embrace efforts to improve contraceptive coverage and increase access to birth control rather than continue to attack the Nation's No. 1 provider of basic women's health services. The ability to access reproductive health care by the services that Planned Parenthood provides has a powerful effect on the choices women and families make every day--choices about finishing college or graduate school, whether to buy a home or start a business. The ability to decide whether or when to start a family shapes lives, and for nearly 100 years Planned Parenthood has played an important role in ensuring that women are able to make that decision for themselves and shape their own destinies. I urge my colleagues to resist the impulse to let politics stand between a woman and her health care and to oppose legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. Thank you, Madam President. I yield to my colleague from Montana. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana. Mr. TESTER. Thank you, Madam President. Once again, this 114th Congress is proving its priorities are completely misguided. Last week the House of Representatives adjourned for a 6-week recess instead of taking up the Senate 6-year highway bill. That bill would strengthen our transportation infrastructure and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which helps businesses compete globally and returns hundreds of millions of dollars to the Treasury. By skipping town, the House forced another short extension, delaying long-term investments and denying States and businesses long-term certainty. Today we are debating whether to defund Planned Parenthood and deny thousands of women access to primary health care. Outside of these walls, this debate was settled decades ago. Most voters--including over 70 percent of Independents--oppose this effort because they see it for what it is: an aggressive assault on women's health care. If you don't believe me, let me tell you the story of one of my constituents named Liz from Billings. Planned Parenthood has been Liz's primary health care provider for 30 years. The doctors and nurses at her local facility found precancerous cells and got her the treatment she needed to prevent a life-threatening disease. Despite a complicated medical history, she was able to start a family thanks to the prenatal care she accessed at Planned Parenthood. Now she has a daughter of her own and trusts the providers of Planned Parenthood to provide critical health care to her and her family. But Liz isn't alone. In 2013, in my home State of Montana, over 15,000 men and women were patients at Planned Parenthood for everything from affordable primary care to cancer screenings, to family planning services. Four out of ten women who receive care at a title X-funded health care center consider it their only source of health care. Taking away this funding is political, shortsighted, and outright dangerous. Unfortunately, it is not their only attempt to rob women of their health care choices. As it sits now, next year's U.S. House appropriations bill for Health and Human Services eliminates all of the title X family planning health clinics. While that is the kind of shortsightedness we have come to expect from the House in recent years, the Senate Labor-HHS appropriations bill isn't much better because it significantly cuts title X funding. It cuts teen pregnancy prevention funding by 81 percent. In a large rural State like Montana, access to quality health care is always a serious challenge. Without a serious effort to recruit more doctors and nurses, we could soon be facing a crisis-level shortage of qualified medical providers. This bill is designed to score political points, no doubt about it. It is certainly not designed with women's health or public health in mind. This is crazy. We need to be giving the American people more options when it comes to their health care, not fewer. I would urge my colleagues to stop the political gaming and simply vote no on this bill. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Coats). Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, there comes a time in the history of nations when a civilized people must stand up and decide whether life is important, whether life is something special, and whether there is maybe something greater than just us that has to do with life. It sickens me to see what has been going on with Planned Parenthood. Some of my first memories of my children were the ultrasounds I saw before they were born. We still keep those. We now find out, though, that this technology that can do wonders, that can save babies--now you can perform surgery in the uterus and the baby can survive. These same techniques are being used by Planned Parenthood to manipulate the baby into a position to harvest the baby's organs. I think all America should be sickened by this. It should also trouble us if we are a society that is not sickened by this. I think the time has come to have a full-throated debate. The time has come to end all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. Some will say: Well, where will people get their health care? We have 9,000 community health centers and 700 Planned Parenthood clinics. The only difference is abortion. In fact, you can get many things at a community health center you cannot get at Planned Parenthood, but the only thing you get at Planned Parenthood that you cannot get anywhere else is an abortion. But this debate is not just about abortion; this debate is about little babies who have not given their consent. It is about time we had a debate in our country about this, and it is about time we said enough is enough. The question is, Can a civilization long endure that does not respect life? Do we lose everything else that makes us human if we are unwilling to protect life? Can we stand up and defend our other rights if we are not willing to stand up and defend the most basic of rights? I come here today to ask my fellow Senators to vote to defund Planned Parenthood. I hope they will. [[Page S6225]] The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma. Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be permitted to have a colloquy with several Members on the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I would first like to enter into a colloquy with Senator Daines. This is an issue which many of us here in this body feel extremely passionate about. We will talk about Planned Parenthood and what is going on and the basic issue of children. This has been spun multiple different ways, but really this is not about a lot of other issues other than one thing. This is about children--children who are recognizable outside of the womb, and once they have been carved up and set out on a table to be sold as parts, they can be plainly seen to be children. So my conversation today will circle around a little bit about what we are doing, where we are headed, what this vote this evening is all about, and what this debate is that should begin here in America about what happens with Planned Parenthood. So I would like to entertain a conversation with Senator Daines. Mr. DAINES. I thank the Senator from Oklahoma for having this colloquy today because I do believe we are at a crossroads. With this vote we will have in about 20 minutes, we have a choice set before us, one that each one of us must make as a Senator and one that each American must make with us. With a ``yes'' vote--a ``yes'' vote is to defund Planned Parenthood-- we reaffirm our dedication to women's health. In fact, we recommit every dollar made available to support things such as well-baby care, cervical and breast cancer screening, prenatal and postpartum care, immunizations, family planning services, including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, and relevant diagnostic, laboratory, and radiology services. This bill does not take a single dollar away from women's health. I think it is very important, as we debate this decision in front of us, that we do not get caught up in rhetoric. Let's get focused on the facts, on what this does and what it does not do. This is a vote about our culture. This is a vote about our ethics. Most importantly--and I say this as a daddy of four children, two boys and two girls--this is about the value of our children. Over the last few weeks, we have seen these videos. Americans have been horrified at high-level Planned Parenthood executives who are callously discussing the price of baby organs harvested from the tiny bodies of aborted babies. In fact, just last week we witnessed an abortion doctor poking through the pieces of a tiny and broken body. He was pointing out the heart and lungs and discussing what each of them should cost when sold, meanwhile exclaiming it is a baby. We have heard so many arguments today: Well, this is about the woman's body. We respect the body of the woman, and we want to make sure that the proper services are allowed to protect a woman's health. But this is not about the woman's body. This is about a different body with a different DNA. This is about a little baby--a baby who now has a price not just on its head but on literally every part, as these videos exposed. When we place a price on the outcome of the destruction of our children, we incentivize it. In another setting, we would call this price-per-specimen arrangement a bounty scheme, because with potential for such financial gain, there is little wonder why there are 149 abortions to every 1 adoption referral at these clinics--149 abortions to every 1 adoption referral at these clinics. The discussions we heard are not exceptions or even the actions of a single clinic. This is a systemic issue within Planned Parenthood. We heard direct testimony that clinics act in concert, with the consent of their corporate headquarters at Planned Parenthood, and that no single clinic acts alone. We learned that an overarching legal department works to build layers upon layers of defenses so that no one clinic is left holding the bag. Such a culture shows little regard for women's health. This is a culture that has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits about making false reimbursement claims to the Federal Government and helping to facilitate the covering up of sexual abuse and statutory rape. In fact, just last week a complaint was filed with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies against one of these clinics regarding a little 13- year-old girl who was sexually abused, had an abortion, and was returned to her abuser. No report was made by the clinic or the abortionist. Her parents were not contacted--all in violation of the laws of Colorado. So a ``no'' vote on this bill supports this culture. It devalues both the woman and that tiny little baby, that child. We do have a choice today. We can work to change that culture if we choose to vote for women, if we would choose to vote yes, because a ``yes'' vote redirects--again, let's get the facts straight here and separate them from the rhetoric--funds from Planned Parenthood and provides that money for women's health services to the numerous community health centers. You heard Senator Paul talk about 9,000 community clinics around the country versus 700 Planned Parenthood centers. It would provide these dollars to those clinics, to local clinics, to hospitals, to other providers that already serve the majority of women. I must tell you I was deeply disturbed--as a daddy of four--with this most recent video where a doctor pokes around the aborted baby's parts until she finds the legs, and she shouts and exclaims: It is another boy. There can be no denying what she was saying. We hear those words for the first time. I heard those words for the first time from a doctor during an ultrasound when Cindy and I were seeing the doctor as we were pregnant or in that ecstatic phone call that comes from an expecting mom or as the new father takes that newborn son into his arms. That doctor was the same one to say: It is a baby. There is no doubt that this is what the little boy is; it is a baby. I cannot support an organization that would place a dollar amount on body parts. I cannot support an organization that would incentivize his death. That is why I will vote for this bill, and my vote will be a vote for women's health. To be very clear, this bill won't touch 1 cent of funding for women's health--not 1 cent. That means that this vote is for one thing and one thing only. A ``yes'' vote is a vote for women. It is a vote for our children. I urge my colleagues: Let us vote for women. Let us vote for our children. Let us vote yes. Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, this ongoing conversation has happened. I would like to be able to demonstrate what we are really up against and what this really looks like in practical terms. I brought a chart with me here for when we talk about women's health because there is an accusation that is sitting out there that this is about cutting off access to women's health. The chart I have on the right shows all Planned Parenthood licensed mammogram facilities. They would be a dot on this map. If you were looking close at the map, you would see no dots on it. It is clear there is not a single one. The accusation is, over and over, that if women are going to get access to mammograms, they have to be able to get to Planned Parenthood. The dirty secret is they are referred to other locations. They recommend that you go get a mammogram, but Planned Parenthood doesn't do any of them. On the left, these are the 8,000-plus facilities--the dots on the map here--where you can actually get a mammogram. We are talking about taking funding from a location that refers patients to the location that actually does the mammogram. This is about women's health, but it is also about the health of children. I have a very difficult time talking about things such as early childhood education on this floor with individuals who are passionate about early childhood education, but if that child was just a couple of years younger, they would have no issue with them being aborted and their body parts being sold. That is the same child. That is the same child whose early childhood education we are passionate about. That is the same child whom we are passionate about in the Women, Infants, and Children funding to make sure that they get proper nutrition at birth. That is [[Page S6226]] the same child. The only difference between the child in the womb and the child who is a preschooler is time. We just think it is important in this incredibly divisive issue of abortion that we treat this seriously as a nation. What has happened in the last couple of weeks with the Planned Parenthood video coming out is that for the first time in a long time, this is not an invisible thing that is happening somewhere in secret. Now it is something that is actually happening where people can see it. I think our culture, for the first time in a while, is having to slow down and deal with the reality of this: Is it possible that this culture has been wrong, that this really is a child? I spoke last week to a friend of mine. His child was born a year ago at 14 ounces. So 14 ounces was the birth weight. The child was born very, very premature. Their child is now 14 pounds, a year later, and doing extremely well. That 14-ounce child is a child that everyone sees now, but that 14-ounce child is exactly what Planned Parenthood was harvesting, was turning in the womb so they could crush the head to be able to gather the organs to be able to sell them. As a culture, we have to deal with this one simple reality. That child is important. This is not about Cecil the lion. This is not about whales at SeaWorld. This is about children. Maybe we as a culture should slow down and be able to answer that one simple question and at least for this moment with Planned Parenthood to say this to an organization where there are a couple of things that are hanging over them right now that are very serious. One is that it is not legal under Federal law to sell parts of a human for profit. Now, it is still yet to be determined what was done. But it is also not legal to be able to change the timing, procedure or method of an abortion to be able to gather organs to be sold. That is very clear in Federal law as well. So if the method is changed, if the timing is changed, if the procedure has changed, specifically to harvest organs, that is not legal. In the videos, over and over you hear doctors talking about how they changed the method, how they used the ultrasound to turn the child around, how they used a different technique than they would have normally done because they wanted to be able to gather these organs for sale. Those are serious accusations. These are children--children. We think it is entirely reasonable to say let's take the funding that has been committed to Planned Parenthood, which is the single largest abortion provider in the country--40 percent of their revenue comes from the Federal taxpayer, 40 percent. Let's take that funding and let's commit it to organizations that do full women's health--mammograms, testing, contraceptives, and the works--not just recommending it to others and also do abortions, but we would commit it to those individuals. With that, I yield to the Senator from Louisiana in this colloquy. I see my colleague from California as well. I think she would also like to have a moment in our colloquy. Would the Senator like to be able to speak for a moment in our colloquy? Mrs. BOXER. Yes, I was going to ask unanimous consent that following my friend from Louisiana I be given 2 minutes. Mr. LANKFORD. Could we just swap and go straight to the Senator now? Would that be appropriate? Mrs. BOXER. Whatever the Senator wants. Mr. LANKFORD. Let's do that then. I have a unanimous consent for an ongoing colloquy, and I would be pleased to have the Senator join this conversation. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California. Mrs. BOXER. I thank my friend from Oklahoma for his generosity here. I tell him that I would really rather work with him on transportation. I gave birth to two premature kids, and I just don't like lectures from men about what it is like--and thank God they made it. I am pro-choice. I just have to say that using pregnancy as a political football doesn't sit well with the people I represent and the people of this country. We have to respect one another. I respect your view entirely. I am asking you to respect mine. Keep Uncle Sam out of my private life, and that of my children, my grandkids, and yours. Families will make these decisions with their God and their doctor. Ninety-seven percent of the work Planned Parenthood does has nothing to do with abortion. It is primary health care. I have to say that in 2011 Republicans threatened to shut down the government if Planned Parenthood wasn't defunded. I heard my friend from Washington, Patty Murray, say they were serious. They were going to shut down the government to deny health care to 2.7 million women and men every year--for some of them, basic health care. I will show you a particular person, Doreen from California, who said: I went to Planned Parenthood and I talked to the clinician. . . . She gave me a referral to a breast care center where I had a mammogram and a biopsy [and] was ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer. . . . I was scheduled for a lumpectomy in about two weeks. That woman could have died, and you say: Go to community health care centers. First, I find it ironic because they were set up in ObamaCare and all of you voted no on ObamaCare. We expanded community health centers. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record a letter from the community health care center association in California. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: California Primary Care Association, July 30, 2015. Hon. Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC. Dear Senator Boxer: The California Primary Care Association has recently become aware of new legislation by Senator Joni Ernst that would redirect federal funding from Planned Parenthood to other health care providers. The purported goal of such legislation is to prevent a decrease in federal funding for women's health services, while eliminating Planned Parenthood as a health care provider. As the state-wide representatives of community clinics and health centers in California, who serve 5.6 million patients annually, we believe this action would negatively impact the health of our community. Planned Parenthood currently operates 115 health centers in California and serves nearly 800,000 patients through 1.5 million encounters annually. Eliminating Planned Parenthood from our state's comprehensive network of care would put untenable stress on remaining providers. We do not have the capacity for such an increase in care and building such capacity would require significant capital investment on par with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expansion. Even then, the legislation would still eliminate patient's ability to choose the provider with which they feel most comfortable. Planned Parenthood is seen by many as women's health centric, which provides their patients with a level of comfort that cannot be easily duplicated. The women's health focus allows them to be a provider of choice to hundreds of thousands of women who seek out a variety of services that include well woman exams, breast exams, birth control and sexually transmitted disease testing. In 2013 alone, Planned Parenthood conducted 733,641 tests for Chlamydia--the leading cause of preventable infertility-- that resulted in 37,014 positive results and follow-up treatment. Planned Parenthood is a vital component of the health care system in California and for that reason, we are opposed to legislation that will diminish their capacity to provide care in our state. We respectfully request that you oppose this legislation. Sincerely, Andie Martinez Patterson, MPP, Director of Government Affairs. They say they cannot take any more patients. They cannot take those 800,000 patients. So they say to the women: Go to the community health care centers. They voted against ObamaCare, which expanded the community health care centers, and the health care centers are saying no, they are sorry, they cannot do it. Planned Parenthood does a great job. So this is a continuation of the Republican war on women. I hope we will defeat this ill-considered bill that is about to come our way. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma. Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I wish to be able to continue this conversation because it is extremely important that we continue this as a nation. I wish to make a couple of comments to you as well. I am a dad with two daughters. I had something to do with the birth as well [[Page S6227]] and was also there. I was there during the sonograms. My wife and I are extremely close. As a dad of two daughters, I am very passionate--not only about my own wife but about my mom, who is a cancer survivor. She is a multiple-time cancer survivor. I am passionate about my daughters having every single opportunity. So this is important to us as well. This is not just a women's issue. This is a men's issue as well because this is a family issue, and families are extremely important to all of us. But I would say that community health centers don't serve 3.2 million people, like Planned Parenthood. Community health centers serve 23 million people around the country. There are around 650 Planned Parenthood locations around the country. There are 9,000 community health centers around the country. The Planned Parenthood facilities refer people to go get breast cancer screenings. The community health centers actually do that testing there. They actually do the mammograms there and not just say that you should get one. So this is about women's health. It is also about the efficiency of what we are going to be about. I would also say one other thing on this issue about ObamaCare and the community health centers. The community health centers were funded under ObamaCare, but they long preexisted before ObamaCare. Community health centers are not an invention of ObamaCare. There was a section of ObamaCare that funded some of them an additional amount, but they have been around for decades and decades. They are an extremely efficient form of health care, especially to those on Medicaid. I yield to my friend and fellow Senator from Louisiana. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana. Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, I am a physician, a doctor. For the last 25 years, I have worked in hospitals for the uninsured. So when my friend from California mentions the need to ensure access for those who might not otherwise afford it, that is what I have been attempting to do in my medical practice for the last 25 years. As a practicing physician, one of the first things you are taught in medical school is ``first, do no harm.'' Tragically, these videos demonstrate that some do not share that perspective. When patients see their doctors, they want an honest, objective opinion. But what the video suggests is that Planned Parenthood puts profits and special interests before the women who call on them for their advice. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator should be advised that the time for the vote, scheduled for 5:30, has arrived. He can ask unanimous consent for additional time if he so wishes. Mr. CASSIDY. Oh, is it 5:30 now? I am sorry. I ask unanimous consent for another 2 minutes? The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. CASSIDY. Now, again, for 30 years, I have been working to get health care for folks, and I think it is important we ensure access for women to health care. Currently, Planned Parenthood gets $500 million in Federal funding per year. If we redirect this funding to the community health centers, which I have worked with for 30 years, their health can be better served. There are two Planned Parenthood facilities in Louisiana, and there are 160 community health centers. The two Planned Parenthood offices, one in New Orleans and one in Baton Rouge, are in the southeastern portion of the State. The community health centers are scattered all over the State, and, again, there are 160 of those. For every American who is troubled by these videos, we should be equally troubled by the fact that the Planned Parenthood provision of health care is geographically centered in some areas but not as broadly as the community health centers. I will also point out, as a physician, that the Planned Parenthood model of care is outdated. We now talk about clinics which are medical homes, not which are siloed into only the provision of birth control pills and, in the case of Planned Parenthood, abortion. The community health centers can provide the whole range of services including those for diabetes, hypertension, et cetera. It is time for Congress to act. I ask my colleagues to support this redistribution of money, sending it closer to where those patients live, to better ensure a woman's access to health care, and to address the troubling issues raised by these videos. I yield back. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa. Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 1 additional minute. Mrs. BOXER. Reserving the right to object, I will not object if Senator Blumenthal can respond with 1 minute. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. The Senator from Iowa. Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, the question before us today is clear: Who do we want to be as a nation? It is hard for anyone to defend these morally reprehensible videos as Planned Parenthood callously harvested the organs of unborn babies to be sold at a price. The American people, Republicans and Democrats alike, are horrified by the blatant disregard and utter lack of compassion shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies. It is wrong. The American people know it, and they should not be asked to foot part of the bill. We can no longer turn a blind eye. This is human life, and Planned Parenthood, the Nation's single largest provider of abortion services, is harvesting baby body parts. Before you now is a critical opportunity to vote for legislation that will protect the most vulnerable in our society and fund women's health. With that, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut. Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I am tempted to say there they go again, because we have seen this attack on women's health care again and again and again. It is a very weak excuse to defund Planned Parenthood. We know 97 percent of Planned Parenthood's activities have nothing to do with abortion. Let's stand strong for women's health care to protect women against cancer, against hepatitis, against sexually transmitted diseases. Eighty percent of Planned Parenthood's clients have nowhere else to go for those vital services. We will not tolerate this attack on women's health care under the guise of stopping abortion. Mr. President, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma. Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I am grateful for this conversation about children. Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, what is regular order at this point? Parliamentary inquiry. What is the regular order? The PRESIDING OFFICER. The regular order is that all time has expired. Mr. LANKFORD. I would advise my colleague from California I have a unanimous consent request under rule XXII. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum call under rule XXII be waived. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. Cloture Motion Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state. The legislative clerk read as follows: Cloture Motion We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to S. 1881, a bill to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Mitch McConnell, James M. Inhofe, Rand Paul, Pat Roberts, Ben Sasse, James Lankford, Joni Ernst, Daniel Coats, Cory Gardner, Steve Daines, Roger F. Wicker, Johnny Isakson, Lindsey Graham, Michael B. Enzi, Jerry Moran, Tim Scott, John Cornyn. The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the motion to proceed to S. 1881, a bill to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood [[Page S6228]] Federation of America, shall be brought to a close? The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. The clerk will call the roll. The legislative clerk called the roll. Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Graham). Further, if present and voting, the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Graham) would have voted ``yea.'' The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote? The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 53, nays 46, as follows: [Rollcall Vote No. 262 Leg.] YEAS--53 Alexander Ayotte Barrasso Blunt Boozman Burr Capito Cassidy Coats Cochran Collins Corker Cornyn Cotton Crapo Cruz Daines Donnelly Enzi Ernst Fischer Flake Gardner Grassley Hatch Heller Hoeven Inhofe Isakson Johnson Lankford Lee Manchin McCain Moran Murkowski Paul Perdue Portman Risch Roberts Rounds Rubio Sasse Scott Sessions Shelby Sullivan Thune Tillis Toomey Vitter Wicker NAYS--46 Baldwin Bennet Blumenthal Booker Boxer Brown Cantwell Cardin Carper Casey Coons Durbin Feinstein Franken Gillibrand Heinrich Heitkamp Hirono Kaine King Kirk Klobuchar Leahy Markey McCaskill McConnell Menendez Merkley Mikulski Murphy Murray Nelson Peters Reed Reid Sanders Schatz Schumer Shaheen Stabenow Tester Udall Warner Warren Whitehouse Wyden NOT VOTING--1 Graham The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 53, the nays are 46. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is rejected. The majority leader. Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I enter a motion to reconsider the vote. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion is entered. ____________________