Controversy sparked by a set of undercover anti-abortion videos has reignited the debate surrounding reproductive rights in the U.S., creating a new opening for the GOP to attack easy access to abortions. On Tuesday, Senate Republicans unveiled new legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, reallocating roughly $540m of federal funding from the group’s other women’s health programs, in what Senate Democrats have called “the worst of the attacks on women’s healthcare.” The bill is expected to come to an initial vote early next week, and has the support of majority leader Mitch McConnell, as well as more than two dozen Republican co-sponsors. Two of them are presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who have also called on Hillary Clinton to publicly denounce Planned Parenthood and return any donations from its employees. While Clinton has acknowledged she found the footage of Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal tissue donations “disturbing,” she continued to express her support for the group as a leading provider of women’s health services and reiterated her belief in a “woman’s right to choose.” The Republican bill is unlikely to succeed, as Senate Democratic leaders were confident their members would reject the proposal and prevent it from gathering the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.
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