News Local/State

Shimkus Supports Defunding Planned Parenthood, Avoiding Government Shutdown


U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Collinsville speaks outside the Champaign Planned Parenthood offices Tuesday. (Jeff Bossert/WILL)

Congressman John Shimkus says he supports efforts in Washington to block federal funding to Planned Parenthood, but he doesn’t favor a government shutdown over the issue.

The 15th District Republican from Collinsville said voters have demanded defunding after secretly-recorded videos surfaced of Planned Parenthood officials allegedly discussing selling fetal organs. The organization has said those videos were heavily edited and denied it’s done anything illegal.

Speaking outside a Planned Parenthood office in Champaign Tuesday, Shimkus said he’s pro-life, represents a pro-life district, and he’s troubled by what he sees in the videos. 

But Shimkus said a government shutdown ‘didn’t work out real well’ last time.

“We really want to target the issue of taxpayer funding for abortion and addressing these gruesome practices," he said.  "But we also know that government does a lot of other things, and there’s a lot of other services. It’s not the desire of the majority of members, for another shutdown.”

The House is scheduled to vote this week on two bills related to Planned Parenthood,including one that would withhold federal funding while the videos are investigated by Congress. 

Shimkus said federal funds should be redirected to other federally-funded health clinics, including hundreds in Illinois.