Newly elected senator Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) on Thursday introduced her first bill in the upper chamber, a law that would strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform abortions.
“Tennesseans and the American people do not want their tax dollars funding abortions,” Blackburn said in a statement announcing the legislation. “They have made this position clear time and again. Hardworking taxpayers do not want to subsidize the business of abortion providers and entities such as Planned Parenthood.”
Blackburn’s legislation will now be considered by committees before a possible vote on the Senate floor.
The bill faces an uphill battle in Congress, as measures stripping abortion providers of government funds have failed several times in the past. Despite pro-lifers’ efforts, spending bills in March and August of last year once again provided Planned Parenthood with over $500 million in federal funding.
Blackburn, a pro-life conservative whose November election made her Tennessee’s first ever female senator, was an outspoken opponent of giving taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider, during her time representing Tennessee in the House. There, she chaired Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which spent $1.59 million and 15 months in 2015 and 2016 investigating allegations that Planned Parenthood illegally trafficked fetal body parts. The panel was formed in response to undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives haggling with researchers over compensation for fetal body parts obtained from abortions.
Blackburn also sponsored the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which sought to prevent abortions from being performed on the basis of gender or race.