Rand Paul Confident GOP Can Defund Planned Parenthood by Summer Recess

Rand Paul
Senate TV via AP

Sen. Rand Paul says he is confident Republicans in Congress can defund Planned Parenthood prior to the start of the summer recess.

Paul has been adamant about finding a way to defund the abortion industry giant in the wake of the release of undercover investigative videos showing Planned Parenthood senior officials discussing harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale to biotech companies.

“There’s a nationwide movement that we’ve been leading,” Paul said, according to the Washington Post. “We will probably send a million emails out on this subject. I think by motivating the grassroots, there’s a very good chance we’ll get a vote on this.”

Paul had attempted to attach an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood to the recent highway bill, but the chair of the Senate at the time refused to recognize him.

Nevertheless, the Washington Examiner reported Paul said he would “use every Senate rule” to force his Senate colleagues on the record after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked his amendment.

Paul next submitted a discharge petition—a separate request for another bill—and believes the chances are good for this route.

The 2016 presidential contender says he thinks Planned Parenthood should be investigated.

“The problem here really is not just whether it’s illegal to buy and sell the organs, but whether the taxpayer dollars should be going to a group that is sort of manipulating and turning the baby around to get access to organs,” he said, referring to the first video in which Planned Parenthood senior medical director Dr. Deborah Nucatola described how she performs abortions in such a way as to harvest the baby’s organs for sale. “I think most people were horrified by them.”

Paul also responded to a question from the Post about whether the bodies of aborted babies should be sold to biomedical companies for research.

“I think that there should not be any financial incentives to get an abortion,” he said. “Now, they would argue that it just covers the cost, but any time money changes hands – even if it’s to a nonprofit group – that is a real question. Really, we probably shouldn’t be doing research on these babies, because you would hate to think there is any kind of incentive for that to occur.”

“Donating tissue when you die is an incredibly noble thing. I’ve worked with donated corneas to give people back vision. But this baby really didn’t have a choice,” Paul continued. “Some people are horrified by the idea of having factories where you’d grow babies for their body parts. Will technology allow that? Technology probably almost already does allow that. But should a civilized society allow that? I don’t think so.”

Presidential contender and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson described Planned Parenthood’s claim that obtaining fetal tissue from abortions is important for medical and scientific research as “spurious.”

“There’s nothing that can’t be done without fetal tissue,” Carson said on Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File. “[I]t’s been over-promised what the benefits of fetal research would be. And very much under-delivered.”

In addition, Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPEDS), told Breitbart News, “Adult stem cell research… has yielded treatments for 73 different diseases including several forms of cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, cardiac disease, autoimmune illnesses and more. Adult stem cells do not overgrow or require immunosuppression, and most importantly, they do not require the killing of innocent human life.”

“Each dollar spent on fetal tissue transplants from aborted babies and embryonic stem cell research is a dollar not spent on expanding the success of adult stem cell therapies,” she added.

Similarly, Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center, told the New York Times he believes Planned Parenthood faces serious challenges in the realm of ethics regarding senior medical director Nucatola’s graphic description of the organization’s practices.

“You cannot, must not, alter how or when you do an abortion simply to obtain tissues you want,” Caplan said. “Basically, the only concern is the health and safety of the mother.”

Additionally, he observed the appearance of potential conflicts of interest for the organization is considerable when it accepts fees for fetal tissue obtained from abortions performed in their facilities.

Paul said he could not see the need for Planned Parenthood to continue receiving taxpayer funds.

“Community health centers do everything Planned Parenthood does, except for abortion. So, you also have Obamacare. You’ve got free contraception everywhere in the country now. You’ve got free health insurance,” he said. “I really don’t think there is a role for Planned Parenthood to get any money. Many times, when they say ‘we do this or that function,’ they refer that to community health centers. I do think that we’ve got plenty of other government venues without this.”