Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday he plans to continue pressing on with his fight to defund Planned Parenthood, including trying to attach it to the government's appropriations bill.
"I've always voted to defund Planned Parenthood and will continue to do so," the Kentucky senator and GOP presidential candidate told Fox News' "America's Newsroom,"
one day after a bill he co-sponsored toward defunding the controversial organization failed by a 53-46 Senate roll-call vote
Sixty yes votes were needed to advance that bill. Fifty-one Republicans and two Democrats voted it, but 42 Democrats, two Republicans, and two independents voted against the defunding measure.
And that means that Paul thinks the "power of the purse is something we could use; in fact, that is congressional prerogative."
The problem, Paul said, is that opponents to the continued public funding of Planned Parenthood "haven't really tried hard enough."
And it's not unusual for Congress to tell the president of the United Sates how to spend money, as "that is what we're supposed to do."
Paul said he does not want to shut down the government over the matter, but he does want the Senate to "give instructions to the president on how to spend money — not just on Planned Parenthood, but a thousand different items. I still don't want to fund Obamacare. I still don't want to fund the massive regulations he is putting forward."
That means that there are many complicated factors, including a procedure that requires six Democrats to vote for a measure to get something out of the Senate.
"So far the Democrats are stonewalling the appropriations bill," said Paul, and they are willing to shut down the government because they're unwilling to accept a Republican majority vote on how to spend the public's money.
Meanwhile, Paul said there have always been a few Republicans who didn't side with the rest of the party on defunding Planned Parenthood, even after the series of undercover sting videos released in recent weeks, including a fifth one made public
"I do think though it's a bigger issue than just abortion," said Paul. "This is about taxpayer funding of a gruesome procedure, not just any old abortion, but a abortion of a fully formed baby where the baby is manipulated and turned around to harvest the baby's organs. I think it is particularly horrific.
"I think everybody should have voted against funding for this."
Meanwhile, he pointed out that any other health service Planned Parenthood offers is "already done by another government agency" or by community health centers.
"We have 9,000 community health centers," said Paul. "There is no reason for one penny ever to go to Planned Parenthood."
Paul said that Planned Parenthood, however, has a "huge lobby" that "gives millions of dollars to Democrats. It uses millions of dollars to fight against Republicans."
So as a result, the truth isn't being told that "women's health is taken care of by community health centers," and that the government has just doubled the amount of money spent on women's healthcare issues.
"We give billions," said Paul. "We give I think about $5 billion to community health centers. That would continue. There are plenty avenues and areas for people to go for women's healthcare. Most of the stuff Planned Parenthood says they do, [they] don't do anyway. They refer you to real doctors, refer you to community health centers."
Further, he insisted that "mammograms are really not done there" as exams there "are self-exams."
"Really," Paul said, "Planned Parenthood is about abortion. Now we find out it is about the grisly sale of baby organs."
And even if the defending measure went down, Paul said he believes the public is with Republicans, including some in the pro-abortion community.
"When it gets to fully formed babies, two-thirds of American public don't agree with this," Paul said.
Watch the video here.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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