*The U.S. Senate voted down a measure that would defund Planned Parenthood.
The 42-58 vote last Thursday came just after the U.S. House approved for the second time the legislation that would amend the fiscal year 2011 budget to strip federal Title X funding from Planned Parenthood. The vote took place as part of the budget agreement reached last week between the Democrats and Republicans.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards has called proponents of the bill “extremists” who are attacking “critical health services with a new vote against Planned Parenthood this week.”
PPFA asserts that it provides 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, annually. It also boasts having 1 million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams each year.
Those statistics have drawn advocates and supporters to its side.
Last week, Senate Majority Harry Reid went so far as to say supporters of the Planned Parenthood cuts were against women getting the services they need.
This week, actress Scarlett Johansson and other celebrities such as Gabrielle Union and Gwyneth Paltrow are supporting PPFA with television ads. Johansson said of the House’s efforts, “The House passed a bill to eliminate our country’s family planning program and to stop Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any federal money to provide life-saving preventative care.”
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