CHICAGO - A protest calling on U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to vote to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America was met with resistance from the senator's office Thursday.
"Senator Kirk believes that access to contraception means fewer unwanted pregnancies and fewer abortions," spokesperson Britt Logan told Illinois Review Thursday afternoon.
"Blocking women’s access to affordable birth control will have the opposite effect. As he has stated, the Senator supports an investigation and prosecution of anyone involved in illegal activity."
Kirk notified Illinois Review several weeks ago that he is interested in investigating if Planned Parenthood clinics had, indeed, been involved in illegal activity. He suggested at the time that he'd favor ending funding to those Planned Parenthood clinics that had been found to be selling baby body parts, as suggested in a series of undercover videos filmed and produced by Center for Medical Progress.
Hundreds of pro-lifers, concerned that their federal and state tax dollars are going to support an organization that admits they do abortions, and afterwards, transfers aborted fetus tissue for medical research.
"Senator Kirk pretends Planned Parenthood is the only women’s health provider in Illinois, which is ludicrous," said Jill Stanek, representative of Susan B. Anthony's List, a DC-based group that promotes anti-abortion causes. "There are 18 Planned Parenthood clinics in Illinois and hundreds of women's health clinics.
"The only service that Planned Parenthood provides that community health centers don’t is abortion - which is what Senator Kirk really appears to support most," Stanek said.
Illinois taxpayers paid Planned Parenthood nearly $9 million in state tax dollars in Fiscal Year 2014, $8 million in FY 2015 and $1.5 million since July 1st for FY 2016.
Several prolife group representatives called on Kirk to move from his position of supporting Planned Parenthood at Thursday's preference. Kirk faces re-election in 2016.