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Two GOP senators seek to amend health care bill in order to protect Planned Parenthood

Two Republican senators want to add an amendment to the Senate GOP’s health care bill and remove a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood. (Laura Segall/AFP/Getty Images)

Two Republican senators are seeking to amend the Senate GOP’s health care bill in order to remove a provision that would defund Planned Parenthood, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republicans’ plan to replace Obamacare, would block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for one year.

GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) plan to introduce an amendment protecting Planned Parenthood, an aide to Murkowski told the Dispatch News.

Karina Petersen, a spokeswoman for Murkowski, told the paper that Murkowski "has been saying that she's concerned the bill bars Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for one year and plans on introducing an amendment to strip that provision out."

Stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, has been a long-held goal of pro-life conservatives. It receives more than $500 million of federal funding each year.

Murkowski and Collins have long defended Planned Parenthood in the face of efforts by their party to strip funds from the organization. In a Sunday interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Collins said it makes "absolutely no sense" to strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood.

President Donald Trump has made a series of conflicting statements on Planned Parenthood, alternately defending the organization and promising to defund it as long as it performs abortions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that a vote on the bill will be delayed until after the July 4 recess.

Democrats have said that they will not support efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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