Sen. Collins criticized for vote to defund Planned Parenthood

Sen. Collins criticized for vote to defund Planned Parenthood

Maine Senator Susan Collins is garnering local and national attention for her vote yesterday in favor of an unsuccessful effort to strip public funding from Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

“Senator Collins has proven once again that when it really counts, she will stand with her party instead of hard-working Maine people who value common sense above the extreme fringe of the anti-choice movement, whose illegal and unethical actions are to blame for this latest attack on Planned Parenthood.” said Andrea Irwin, Executive Director of the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center in Bangor. “Her vote seriously calls into question her appreciation for the economic challenges women face in accessing reproductive health care.”

“We were surprised and concerned by Senator Collins’ vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides high quality preventative care to thousands of Maine women every year – many of whom need it most. Senator Collins’s vote and equally misguided substitute bill seek to undermine that care,” said Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, in a public statement. “This is not what Maine women want and we are confident Senator Collins will hear directly from women in our state.”

Elle Magazine has also weighed in, noting that Collins has previously been supportive of Planned Parenthood and its mission to deliver high-quality reproductive health care.

“Yet while Collins noted that many women in her state and nationwide depend on Planned Parenthood for access to healthcare services, she voted in favor of legislation that would strip the organization of over $500 million from the federal government,” wrote Elle’s Mattie Kahn.

Collins’ staff has attempted to explain her vote by saying that she supported the bill’s advancement because she supports an amendment to investigate the organization (in the wake of a series of heavily-edited secret video recordings which some Republicans have used to make false claims about the handling of fetal tissue donated for scientific research). Sen. Mark Kirk (R – Illinois), Collins’ colleague who co-sponsored the investigation amendment, however, voted against the defunding bill.

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