The Senate on Thursday rejected a measure that would have blocked federal government funding to Planned Parenthood. The amendment, proposed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), was defeated 45-48, needing 60 votes to pass.

The amendment was proposed for attachment to an appropriations bill funding the department of Labor and Health and Human Services. Speaking after the vote, Paul said that the result showed many Republican lawmakers prioritized increased government spending over life issues.

“While I am disappointed in the outcome of this vote, I will never apologize for standing up for life. If it took exposing the preference of so many in my own party to continue reckless spending over protecting the innocent, it was a fight worth having,” the senator said.

Paul had previously blamed GOP leadership for filling up slots for potential amendments to the appropriations bill with empty placeholders in order to keep his proposal from making it into the final version. He said that they did so out of fears that an attempt to defund the controversial abortion provider could hold up other spending increases contained in the bill.

Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska both voted against the amendment and won public praise from Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens for “standing up and protecting access” to abortion.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.