After a week of Republican lawmakers making wildly exaggerated claims about Planned Parenthood and its role as an abortion provider, it's refreshing to know that at least some of them get what the organization is really about.
On Thursday, the Republican-controlled House passed a measure to strip Planned Parenthood’s federal funding. But the bill died in the Senate, with five Republicans joining all Democrats in supporting the group’s funding.
Republican Senators Olympia Snowe, (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Scott Brown (Massachusetts), and Mark Kirk (Illinois) voted against the amendment. Despite their party's insistence on going after Planned Parenthood by exaggerating its role as the largest abortion provider in the country, these lawmakers instead emphasized the preventive services the organization provides (which, I'll say it once again, makes up 97 percent of PP's total services).
Here's Sen. Collins explaining why she supported PP:
Planned Parenthood plays an important role in providing services for women ... They provide thousands of cancer screenings every year and they provide family planning services for low-income and at-risk women and right now we do not have a system in place that would replace those vital services.
And in a constituent email sent in March, Sen. Murkowski echoed this sentiment:
Planned Parenthood has provided women throughout the U.S. with important family planning and contraceptive services as well as screening for breast and cervical cancers for low-income women.
The PP funding battle may be over in Congress for the moment, but don't think for one second we've heard the last of it. Likely this vote will be used as a political weapon in the 2012 election. Let's just try to remember which side stuck to the "facts" with respect to this particular debate.
Image via S.MIRK/Flickr