On Monday, August 3, the Senate blocked the passage of a Republican-backed bill which would have stopped federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In response, Republican lawmakers, including 2016 presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 4, 2015
The bill was proposed after undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees talking about fetal stem cells used for research purposes was released—but it got only 53 of the 60 votes it would have needed to pass. During the voting window, supporters of Planned Parenthood rallied behind the organization, and at one point, the hashtag #StandwithPP was the top trending hashtag on Twitter. Another 2016 presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, was one of many prominent women to participate.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 3, 2015
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) August 3, 2015
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 3, 2015
— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) August 2, 2015
While some Planned Parenthood supporters are breathing a sigh of relief, a major concern is that Republicans could use an upcoming "must-pass" spending bill in order to force lawmakers to defund the organization. However, in a statement released to reporters after the vote, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards called the issue a “political non-starter.”
“While some extreme Republicans may continue to insist on shutting down the government in order to deny health care—including birth control—to millions of women, that is a fight the American people have zero appetite for and a fight these extremists will not win,” she wrote.