Three Republican senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski(R-AK) weren't about to let their party gut Planned Parenthood without a fight. Collins led the charge on Senate floor Thursday announcing that defunding Planned Parenthood could lead to "the closure of several hundred clinics across the country, depriving millions of women of the health care provider of their choice."
Collins amendment was to strike language in the Senate's budget reconciliation bill, which redirected money from Planned Parenthoods to other community health clinics. Republican leaders included the defund language as a statement against Planned Parenthood, which sting videos alleged was selling fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has denied those accusations.
The reconciliation package, which included language to gut Obamacare is expected to be vetoed by the president. But, moderate Republicans especially those running for re-election in swing states like Kirk had reason to be worried that the mere optics of voting to defund Planned Parenthood sent the wrong message back home. After all, Planned Parenthood does more than provide abortions. The clinics offer women health screenings and access to birth control.