Planned Parenthood survived a procedural vote Monday in the U.S. Senate on a bill to defund the organization, after a series of undercover videos emerged to suggest that the organization may have been willing to sell fetal organs from late-term abortions to tissue companies.
The vote for cloture was 53-46, meaning that it fell well shy of the 60 votes needed to end debate and proceed to a vote. The vote was largely along partisan lines, with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) crossing over to vote with Democrats, and Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) voting with the GOP. House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voted against the measure to preserve the option of a re-vote.
The bill was proposed by first-term Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). The White House opposed it strongly, with press secretary Josh Earnest telling CNN on Monday that while he had not personally seen the “shocking” videos, he believed that the videos had been “selectively edited.”
The issue promises to be a significant factor in the 2016 presidential race, as well as in numerous competitive races for congressional seats.