Coats pushes defunding Planned Parenthood, group targets Donnelly ahead of vote in U.S. Senate

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WASHINGTON D.C. (August 2, 2015) – The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Monday on whether to defund Planned Parenthood.

The measure had both supporters and opponents of the bill counting and lobbying critical votes through the weekend.

“I think it’s up in the air whether it will pass,” Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said Sunday morning on FOX 59's IN Focus. 

Coats will preside over Monday’s expected vote which would strip federal dollars from Planned Parenthood, instead moving the money to community health centers nationwide.

Coats said 108 centers in Indiana could see federal money if the bill passes.

The  outrage comes after a series of undercover videos were released showing a top Planned Parenthood executive discussing in graphic detail the selling of fetal tissue to researchers.

“This is not the typical piece of legislation we’re dealing with,” Coats said. “We’re talking about living life, a human life and a dismembering of a human life and with taxpayer support.”

The Centers for Medical Progress, which recorded the videos, has accused Planned Parenthood of profiting from selling the organs, which is illegal. Planned Parenthood has apologized for the video, but said it hasn’t broken any state or federal law.

Already the White House has promised a veto if the measure made it to the president’s desk.

And this past weekend, Planned Parenthood went on the offensive, publicly pressuring several moderate Democrats in a series of TV ads, including Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to vote against the bill.

Donnelly hasn’t said publicly which way he’ll vote.

“They provide resources for women,” Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) said, defending Planned Parenthood, advocated for increased federal funding. “Cancer screenings, health assessments, life plans for women.”

An investigation by the Indiana State Department of Health, released late last week, concluded Indiana’s Planned Parenthood facilities are in compliance with state law and don’t participate in tissue donations.

“My hope is though that officials in Washington D.C. will continue their inquiry,” Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said Friday. “I thought it was important for us to be able to reassure Hoosiers that the practices that are alleged in those videos are not taking place in the state of Indiana.”

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