In blocking Senate vote, Democrats turn their
back on threat posed by mosquito-borne virus
LIFEZETTE — When Democrats blocked a vote Tuesday on funding efforts to fight the Zika virus, they chose protecting Planned Parenthood over the prospect of babies born with grisly birth defects.
That is the only reasonable conclusion from the 52-48 largely party-line vote in the Senate to block the $1.1 billion spending measure. Only one Democrat, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, voted with most Republicans to shut off debate, far from the 60 needed.
Democrats raised a laundry list of objections, ranging from a provision to allow Confederate flags on Department of Veterans Affair property to a measure allowing pesticide spraying near water sources. But Planned Parenthood appears to have been the sacred cow Democrats could not slaughter. The nation’s largest abortion provider urged Democrats to kill the Zika funding because it was partially paid for by reducing funding for birth control providers.
Dana Singiser, vice president of public policy and government affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation, called the measure a “political stunt” and said it would hurt women and children.
“We need a real response that empowers women and stops the Zika virus from inflicting suffering on families in America and across the globe,” she said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood barked the order, and the Democrats marched.
Sen. Roy Blunt called the Democrats’ move “reprehensible” and said it would have real-world health consequences.
“This is a real public health emergency; not an opportunity to score political points,” he said in a statement.
• THE D.C. MONUMENT FULL OF ZIKA MOSQUITOES — DAILY BEAST