Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell ready for fight over Planned Parenthood funding

By:  Paige Browning
Source: KUOW Radio

Just days into Congress' new session, major topics are on the table.

Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray says she will fight back against a Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood. This week House Speaker Paul Ryan said he wants to cut off federal financial support to the health organization.

Sen. Murray also led a press conference about it Thursday.

Murray: "We are going to stand and fight for millions of women in this country, for their access to their health care, and for them to be able to make decisions for themselves. So we want you to know we are here every step of the way to fight back; this is wrong."

Murray said defunding would hurt the livelihood of women nationwide and ultimately lead to rising health costs.

Republicans in Congress have made similar attempts to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood in recent years, in part because some clinics provide abortion services.

Planned Parenthood also provides birth control, cancer screenings and sexual health education.

Thirty-seven Senate Democrats signed the letter, including Washington's Maria Cantwell, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren and Vermont's Bernie Sanders.