INDIANAPOLIS -- U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) voted Thursday to keep federal funding for Planned Parenthood – a different stance than he took on a similar vote in August.
The vote was on one of many amendments proposed Thursday as the Senate was debating a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act – a bill which is guaranteed a veto from President Barack Obama. The amendment to keep Title X funding for Planned Parenthood failed 48-52.
In August, Donnelly was one of only two Democrats to vote in favor of a Senate measure to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding. That attempt failed 53-46. Donnelly was joined by Republican U.S. Senator Dan Coats in voting yes.
Donnelly said at the time he could not "in good faith support federal funding for this organization until the questions of whether other clinics are complying with federal and state laws are answered."
His vote to defund Planned Parenthood cost him the support of former Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis, who resigned as his campaign treasurer immediately afterward.
Donnelly released a statement Thursday explaining his change of opinion.
“I am committed to ensuring women have access to quality health care, like cancer screenings and wellness visits, and that our health care providers are in compliance with federal law," Donnelly said. "I am pleased that Planned Parenthood has changed its policy and will no longer accept federal reimbursement for fetal tissue intended for medical research, and the organization has not been found to be in violation of any federal laws."
An independent investigation ordered by Gov. Mike Pence of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky had already found no violations of state law at the time of Donnelly's original vote.
Donnelly also voted Thursday to block gun sales to "known or suspected dangerous terrorists." That measure failed in a straight party-line vote, 45-54, with Coats joining fellow Republicans in voting against it.