Senate attempt to defund Planned Parenthood fails twice

Updated: Apr. 12, 2018 at 8:06 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Senators' attempt to defund Planned Parenthood failed in two close votes on Thursday afternoon.

The debate was tense. Republican senators from the Upstate tried to change the Senate budget to keep taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood, to pay for abortions. In a vote of 22-20, defunding was defeated. Then, another senator from the Upstate tried again. 

"The amendment I have here is titled 'Defunding Planned Parenthood.' But there's a caveat. If they don't do abortions, they don't lose a dollar. That's all we're getting at here," Senator Shane Martin (R- Spartanburg) said. 

Martin's measure was shot down, too, in a 23-18 vote. Those against defunding Planned Parenthood breathed a sigh of relief because they argue it would have hurt more services for women than just abortions.

Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant threatens not to ratify the budget if any state dollars go to pay for abortions. However, if he doesn't sign it, another official will.

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