In a flip-flop heard around the world, Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) declared at a town hall meeting yesterday: “I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood,” the nation’s largest seller of abortions. But when specifically asked if he would commit to support federal funding for Planned Parenthood, Heller responded: “Yeah, we’ll continue to look at this issue,” before adding: “I will protect Planned Parenthood.” Then he clarified further that “states have a right to make the determination” of funding.
Senator Heller’s waffling over federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be completely unacceptable to a majority of the voters in Nevada who elected him based in part on his pro-life promises. His comments contradict the clear position given by his official spokesman just four months ago: “Senator Heller does not support federal funding for Planned Parenthood” and instead supports funding community health care centers which “provide comprehensive care for women.” In 2015, Heller also criticized Planned Parenthood over the Center for Medical Progress videos exposing their selling of the body parts of aborted babies: “I’ve seen the films just like everybody else. The comments that were made, I think it’s beyond the pale that these are the activities of Planned Parenthood.” Heller’s new position is especially confusing since less than two weeks ago, Heller served as a key vote in legislation to overturn an Obama-era rule that prevented states from defunding Planned Parenthood from federal Title X family planning funds.
Heller’s flip-flopping also goes against his numerous votes over the past two years to defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level. In 2015, Heller voted for the reconciliation bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood for one year, and he voted twice against harmful amendments that would have restored funding for Planned Parenthood in the bill. In 2015, Heller also voted to proceed to a vote to permanently prohibit federal funding to Planned Parenthood and again for a government funding bill that defunded Planned Parenthood for one year. Even when he was a House member in 2011, Heller voted for the Pence Amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.
Recent polling has shown that 56 percent of voters in various Senate battleground states want to see Planned Parenthood defunded, and 61 percent of Americans nationwide oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. Senator Heller should remain true to his word and defund Planned Parenthood. Next time, he should use the opportunity at a town hall to expose Planned Parenthood for the many controversies and investigations involving the trafficking and sale of baby body parts, abortion quotas, failure to report statutory rape, agreement to commit race and sex-selective abortions, filing for false claims and potential fraud involving millions of dollars, and others.
Call Senator Dean Heller at 202-224-6244, especially if you live in Nevada, and tell him to defend mothers and their babies, not Planned Parenthood. It’s time to end the forced partnership between the American taxpayers and the abortion industry.
UPDATE: Senator Heller’s staff have provided a statement regarding his remarks:
“Senator Heller has worked hard to improve women’s access to health care and the quality of care they receive. While he doesn’t have a problem with many of the health care services Planned Parenthood offers to women, he is opposed to providing federal funding to any organization that performs abortions and is supported by taxpayers’ dollars; he has a long record that reflects his position.”
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