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Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin breaks rank to defund Planned Parenthood

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Joe ManchinWest Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has announced he is voting today to strip Planned Parenthood of federal tax dollars, the Weekly Standard reports.

“I am very troubled by the callous behavior of Planned Parenthood staff in recently released videos, which casually discuss the sale, possibly for profit, of fetal tissue after an abortion,” Manchin said. “Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization; instead those funds should be sent to other health care providers, including community health centers, which provide important women’s healthcare services.”

Manchin is considered a moderate Democrat, whose voting record on abortion issues between 2011 and 2014 has received mixed and varying scores from the National Right to Life Committee, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL.

As Live Action News has recently reported, it was uncertain where he would fall on the Defund Planned Parenthood Act because he has voted to maintain the abortion giant’s funding in the past, yet signed a letter in which fifty senators challenged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct “a thorough internal review of the compliance of the Department and Planned Parenthood – one of the Department’s grantees – with all relevant and applicable federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements.”

Though Manchin’s statement indirectly alludes to possibly restoring Planned Parenthood’s funding if the allegations are “answered and resolved” in a way that clears them of legal wrongdoing, the text of S.1881 would simply render the organization ineligible for federal funds, with no mention of either an expiration date or the fetal organ harvesting scandal revealed in undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress.

Live Action News has also elaborated on the alternative recipients of women’s health dollars Manchin references in an analysis which explains that Planned Parenthood’s 669 to 700 locations nationwide are actually outnumbered by over 1,100 Federally Qualified Health Centers and 9,059 community health clinics in the United States.

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