Las Vegas, NV – Republican Senator Dean Heller has been on an extreme ideological (and unpopular) crusade to defund Planned Parenthood for years. Today, he cast the deciding vote in the U.S. Senate to move forward on overturning a rule that protects health care for more than 4 million people who rely on the Title X family planning program and prevents states from defunding health care providers like Planned Parenthood for political reasons.
Dean Heller is the most vulnerable Republican Senator up for re-election in 2018. Instead of joining with moderate Republican Senators like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins to vote against moving forward with the reckless anti-women’s health effort, Dean Heller toed the party line. Without Heller’s vote in favor, Vice President Mike Pence could not havebroken the Senate’s 50-50 tie and the GOP could not have moved forward with this bill.
“This partisan ploy to shutter Planned Parenthood clinics and cause low-income women to lose access to birth control and cancer screenings is only possible because of Dean Heller’s vote,” said Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Stewart Boss. “Heller’s decision to join Republicans in turning family planning funding into a political football is an affront to Nevadans who are sick and tired of Washington politicians getting involved in women’s access to health care. Senator Heller’s consistent support for attacking women’s health and defunding Planned Parenthood is out of sync with Nevada’s values, and it’s one of many reasons he will be voted out in 2018.”
In an interview last week on KNPR, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said: “What we’re focused right now on is making sure that Senator Heller is hearing from the women of Nevada. I know that there have been literally thousands of calls into his office, folks telling their stories about the role that Planned Parenthood plays in their life, and the role that this health care plays for them. I hope he’s listening to Nevada constituents, because it’s very unpopular in the state of Nevada to end access to health care at Planned Parenthood.”