(Senate - August 03, 2015)

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[Pages S6215-S6228]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                       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 

  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for the quorum call be rescinded.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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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, 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 

       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 
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
a letter from the community health care center association in 
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                           California Primary Care


                                                    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 
       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 
       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 
                                    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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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 
  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.]





                             NOT VOTING--1

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 53, the nays are 
  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 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion is entered.