GOP Sen. Murkowski: ‘Women Will Die’ Without Planned Parenthood Funding

As the fight over funding the federal government heats up in Congress, one sticking point is sure to be Title X money for Planned Parenthood, which House Republicans voted to eliminate earlier this month. In the Senate, Republicans Scott Brown (MA) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) have broken with their party in support of continued funding for Planned Parenthood, noting it is one of the nation’s largest and most effective providers of womens’ health services. In an interview this weekend with the Anchorage Daily News, Murkowski explained the stakes:

“More fundamentally, without the care Planned Parenthood provides — without access to Pap smears, pelvic exams and breast exams — women will die,” the senators said.

Indeed, one in five women in the U.S. have used one of Planned Parenthood’s 800 health centers, where the organization provides nearly one million Pap tests and more than 830,000 breast exams each year. The organization also administers nearly four million STD tests every year, including those for HIV. Just three percent of the organization’s work is related to abortions.

Meanwhile, The Hill reports that a number of moderate Republicans are signaling willingness to re-instate funds to Planned Parenthood. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) called “the outright elimination” of funding “a step too far,” while a spokesperson for her colleague Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) called the House vote “unwise.” Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said he “has always supported Planned Parenthood and family planning efforts.”

The three senators didn’t say how they would vote on a measure to defund Planned Parenthood, and Brown and Murkowski have both voted for the House-passed full-year government funding bill that contained a provision eliminating funds for the organization. As CAP’s Matt Yglesias wrote of Brown’s statement in support of the group, “If he’s voting to defund Planned Parenthood, then all the statements in the world don’t mean a thing.”

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress.

Related Stories:

House Bans Funding For Planned Parenthood

GOP Budget Wars on Reproductive Health

Stand Up For Planned Parenthood (Video)


Photo credit: markjhandel
By Alex Seitz-Wald at ThinkProgress


Kelsey C.
Kelsey S6 years ago


Dan B.
Dan Brook6 years ago

Just because a few Republicans occasionally support sane positions doesn't make them any bargain. They still caucus with the big bullies on most other issues.

The regressive Republican Party of No is mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, oily, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans.

Sharlene H.
S H6 years ago

I signed a petition saying no to defunding, this is what my senator Scott Austin wrote me back

Thank you for contacting me regarding the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act of 2011." As your Congressman, I value your input and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

I am proud to be pro-life and do not support taxpayer funds being used for abortions. Also, I have a co-sponsored H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." If H.R. 3 is enacted into law, taxpayer dollars will not be allowed to fund any abortions in a federal or D.C. health care facility and health care plans will not receive tax benefits for abortion services.

Moreover, during debate on the Continuing Resolution, I supported Representative Mike Pence's amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. I was proud to have voted to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding this organization.

Again, thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issues that mean the most to you

Doug G.
Doug G6 years ago

Unbelievable coming from a Republican.

Pamela D.
Pamela D6 years ago

I am glad to know that there are some in the GOP that will not bend to the will of the Tea Party. These two senators (hopefully along with some others) must regain some sensability in the GOP. It will be interesting to see what the party will become.

Tery G.
Tery G6 years ago

err, that's the point, don't cha know

Marianne C.
Marianne C6 years ago

I guess at least two Republicans have seen the handwriting on the wall, and understand that to take the official GOP hard right wing line means political suicide come 2012.

Americans have finally waken up and realized that having the GOP back in office at either the state or the Federal level is a mistake we can -- and must -- correct. The Republicans who are willing to break with the hard-line right extremism the party is currently mired in, and are willing to move toward the humane and the sane are far more likely to survive the coming reformation.

I hope any remnant of real moderate thinking among the GOP comes with them.

Christine S.

I am pleasantly shocked that Murkowski is supporting planned parenthood! And to the people who want to harp on abortion- if you use the contraception that Planned Parenthood provides properly- you wouldn't need an abortion, now, would you?

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

I'll bet all those male Congressmen want public funding of Viagra.

Heidi M.
Heidi M6 years ago

When I sent a letter to my senators and congressman regarding funding of Planned Parenthood, the reply I got back from the Honorable (??)Mick Mulvaney was "my faith and family values would never allow me to vote for anything that involved abortion....." Was a @*&!!$#*&. He obviously knows nothing about Planned Parenthood and will vote it down anyway. And HE got elected, ousting my buddy Rep. John Spratt who had an excellent record for women's rights, worker's rights, the environment, and peace. THIS my friends is what the world is coming too. It wasn't bad that we had the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee of warmongering as senators (I of course refer to Sens. Lindsay Graham and Jim Demint), now we have Mick Mulvaney, shoveling all our rights out the door along with them. Be afraid, be very afraid.

In the meantime, kudos to Murkowski and Brown for bucking the system and actually thinking for themselves and knowing all the facts.