WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – U.S. Republican Sen. Scott Brown says he will go to bat for Planned Parenthood funding in the U.S. Senate.

“I support family planning and health services for women,” said Brown in a statement.

“Given our severe budget problems, I don’t believe any area of the budget is completely immune from cut. However, the proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning goes too far,” he said. “As we continue with our budget negotiations, I hope we can find a compromise that is reasonable and appropriate.”

Currently the U.S. national debt totals $14.2 trillion. This year, the federal government is expected to run a spending deficit of $1.6 trillion.

In this economic climate, House Republicans have proposed small cuts ($61.3 billion) for the rest of FY 2011. The long-term Continuing Resolution (CR) passed by the House cuts a number of left-leaning pet programs, including Title X family planning money, and severs the existing financial relationship between the federal government and Planned Parenthood. The abortion provider is the single biggest recipient of Title X funds, with over $300 million federal dollars annually padding Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.

Brown, who is pro-abortion, was once a darling of the Tea Party movement, which gave him critical support in his bid to capture the late Ted Kennedy’s vacant seat in 2009. However, his more left-leaning stances taken on fiscal policies have alienated him from the movement.

While House Republicans led by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have repeatedly stressed that they will not allow a government shutdown over the budget battle, Senate Democrats led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have voiced support for a government shutdown rather than permit Planned Parenthood lose federal funding.

Brown joins GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine in opposing House GOP efforts to pass the long-term CR without Planned Parenthood funding.

The next congressional showdown over funding the government is April 8, when the current short-term CR expires.