Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine), who has supported Planned Parenthood, said she is having “extensive talks” with fellow centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), who said he remains undecided on the defunding measure. Ms. Collins said the two have discussed what sort of measure would be acceptable.

“I think there’s sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation, and that we do need more facts before moving precipitously to immediately cut off all funding because Planned Parenthood clinics do some very good work in cancer screening and family planning,” Ms. Collins said Thursday. “Very few of them, I am told, engage in what I view to be a reprehensible practice of procuring fetal tissue and organs and essentially selling them.”

“I’m confident that if we had more women leading in Washington, we would not still be dealing with the right wing’s efforts to trample women’s health care,” she says. The fundraising email concludes by urging supporters: “Please, click here to give every dollar you can right now.”

The editorial further criticized the “demagoguery” of legislation I introduced to defund Planned Parenthood while Congress carries out an investigation. As you might expect, I have a few thoughts to share in response.

If The Tennessean wants to have a real conversation about demagoguery and deception, it should look no further than what is happening behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood clinics.

This organization is the ultimate deception to women, families, and to taxpayers.

Calling next week’s Senate roll call to defund Planned Parenthood a “legislative show vote,” GOP firebrand Ted Cruz said Republicans should do everything they can to eliminate federal money for the group — even if it means a government shutdown fight this fall.

He’s not alone. On Wednesday afternoon, 18 House Republicans told leadership that they “cannot and will not support any funding resolution … that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood.” Meanwhile, GOP social conservatives like Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama said they’d consider supporting an effort to attach a spending rider that would eliminate Planned Parenthood’s $528 million in annual government funding to must-pass spending legislation this fall.

It’s a potentially ominous sign for GOP leaders desperate to avoid another shutdown debacle.

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“The recent news stories concerning Planned Parenthood direct our attention to two larger issues involving many institutions in our society,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley said July 29. “The first is abortion itself: a direct attack on human life in its most vulnerable condition. The second is the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues through abortion.”

“Both actions fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life. This fact should be the center of attention in the present public controversy.”

“Five thousand, four hundred and ninety-nine abortions are in Cuyahoga County, which I happen to represent,” Patmon said in a speech Tuesday. “And 63 percent of them are black women, 63 percent of them are of a certain hue in their skin.”

“You hear a lot of demonstrations across the country now, about black lives matter,” Patmon added. “Well, they skipped one place. They should be in front of Planned Parenthood.”

The vow by ardently conservative Republicans to reject any spending bill that does not cut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood is their latest attempt to force through policies by threatening to shut down the government.

These moves by Republicans bother party leaders, who want to keep the government funded without big policy fights, even on things they support. The leaders are also concerned about the pressure such tactics put on Republican senators up for re-election in swing states next year.

I’m going to want to make sure that we keep the government funded,” said Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican of New Hampshire, who would like Congress to cut off Planned Parenthood’s funding, but not by holding hostage appropriations that keep the government’s lights on.

“There’s ample reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic that we have seen from some extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release an edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person who is actually speaking on the video,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “And Planned Parenthood has indicated that’s what has occurred here.”

In the newest video, former procurement technician Holly O’Donnell relates something that we have heard from others who worked at abortion clinics: she fainted on her first day on the job when she saw the remains of the aborted babies. Abortion practitioners publicly admit an emotional stress on the clinic workers who have to deal with the body parts of aborted babies. In the book Second Trimester Abortion: Perspectives After a Decade of Experience, in a chapter titled “Psychological Impact on Patients and Staff,” the authors acknowledge that when voluntary abortion became legal, some authorities “observed an unanticipated, strong emotional reaction by the staff.” Today, abortionists often leave to the nurses and the assistants the grim task of disposing of body parts, with predictable results. “Nurses found physical contact with the fetus particularly difficult,” they authors continued. “It reminded them of the ‘preemies’ just down the hall and made them uncomfortable as they thought about their own potential future pregnancies.”

The lesson? While abortionists work to reduce the psychological impact of the killing, we need to make that impact visible and widespread. The more people who endure the stress, the more who will try to eliminate it’s source. Those who have been complicit in killing innocents have always found it difficult to continue to do so in the face of the graphic reality of the killing. A complacent culture that ignores the killing will find it more difficult to continue in the face of the graphic reality of the killing.

What started out as a push from socially conservative firebrands like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 18 House members on Wednesday, is spreading to include more centrist members of the Senate GOP. On Thursday, Arizona Republican John McCain, who often tacks to the middle in the Senate, not only backed a plan to link Planned Parenthood defunding with spending legislation, he suggested the move was inevitable.

“It could invite a fight, but I think most Americans do not believe that their tax dollars should be used to fund the kind of grotesque procedures we’ve seen authenticated,” said McCain, who is trying to box out any primary challenge. “I would vote for a spending bill that defunded it, and that’s the way it’s going to be … it’s pretty obvious.”

Planned Parenthood lobbied the Department of State many times during Hillary Clinton’s tenure there and received tens of millions of dollars from foreign policy agencies over the past few years, according to a new report.

As secretary of state, Clinton attacked the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funding of abortion overseas. Her husband revoked the policy during his administration and President Obama lifted the ban upon taking office in 2009. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is tied to the State Department, steered more than $100 million in funding to Planned Parenthood, its international affiliates, and the pro-abortion Population Council between 2010 and 2012, according to the Government Accountability Office—about 20 percent of the nearly $500 million pro-abortion organizations received from taxpayers during that time frame.

The taxpayer dollars that Planned Parenthood received dwarfed the $3.4 million that Planned Parenthood spent on lobbying during President Obama’s first term, according to a report from Women Speak Out PAC, a partner of the Susan B. Anthony List, and American Rising.