Senate Democrats blocked an anti-abortion bill on Tuesday.
The bill was a Republican effort to ban late-term abortions.
Republican Senate leaders have eight days to find a way to avoid a government shutdown over this dispute.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will try and push through a stop gap measure to keep the government running to Dec. 11.
The motion will also strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding for a year, a measure which will also likely be blocked by Senate Democrats.
The battle over Planned Parenthood stems over videos regarding the sale of fetal tissue for scientific research.
On the presidential campaign trail, GOP presidential nominees are using the Planned Parenthood issue to drum up support with anti-abortion activists.
“If Senate Republicans cannot defund Planned Parenthood right now, there is no point in calling them Republicans,” said Louisiana Governor and GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal.
It is important to note however, that no federal funding to Planned Parenthood pays for abortions.
Some Republicans are weary of their party’s attempts to shutdown the government on issues they cannot win.
“I’m tired of the people on my side of the aisle who have been pushing this strategy, even though they know they don’t have the votes,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., up for re-election in a state Obama carried twice. “Therefore, they can’t answer the question, ‘What’s the endgame for success here?'”
The Republican bill would have set prison terms of up to five years for doctors who performed abortions 20 weeks after conception.
According to the Center for Disease Control only 1 percent of abortions take place after 20 weeks.
Of Planned Parenthood’s 2.7 million annual patients, only 3 percent undergo an abortion.
[The Associated Press]