Planned Parenthood defunding fails in Ark. Senate

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A bill aimed at cutting off public grants to Planned Parenthood has narrowly failed in the Arkansas Senate.

The Senate on Friday voted 17-9 in favor of legislation that would ban the state from awarding grants to entities that perform abortions or abortion referrals, one vote shy of the majority needed in the 35-member chamber.

The proposal is aimed primarily aimed at cutting off sex education grants Planned Parenthood currently receives. But the group says that by barring grants to those who perform abortion referrals, it could hurt funding other organizations such as rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters receive if they refer women to abortion providers.

The Senate later expunged the vote, meaning the bill's sponsor can bring it back to be considered again later.

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