Pro-lifers were optimistic following the election in November, as Republicans took over both Houses of Congress and the White House. So when the story broke over the weekend that Congress made a deal to pass what is called a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would avoid a government shutdown and continue funding of Planned Parenthood, it’s no surprise that pro-lifers, including us, are angry.
Why does this matter?
The CR still funds Planned Parenthood even though we supposedly have pro-life majorities in the House, Senate, and a pro-life president. We get that it’s really hard to take away that funding without the necessary 60 votes in the US Senate but still, we aren’t thrilled with this at all.
This is what our president, Kristan Hawkins, said yesterday about the CR:
“It’s beyond frustrating that Congress is poised to pass a government funding bill that continues to fund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion vendor and the subject of over a dozen criminal referrals from committees in both the House and Senate. The Republican Party is the only party with an anti-abortion platform and whose candidates ran specifically on the promise to defund Planned Parenthood, yet, here we are, watching them pass a bill that funds Planned Parenthood even though they control the House, Senate, and White House.
“More innocent lives will be lost at the hands of Planned Parenthood because of broken promises. If Congress refuses to protect women and babies through passage of a healthcare bill that defunds Planned Parenthood or a reconciliation bill that does the same, it will be a betrayal that the GOP will find extensively difficult to overcome when they go back to pro-lifers with the same promises in the next campaign.”
What else is happening?
There is a healthcare bill, the AHCA, that may have the votes in the House of Representatives to pass. Among other changes it will make to Obamacare, it will restrict federal funds from paying for abortion and going to Planned Parenthood (much more money than the CR allows).
There is also the reconciliation bill, which passed both the House and Senate in December 2015, which defunds Planned Parenthood. This is the bill that most pro-life groups are going to fight hard for. Why? Because it only needs 51 votes in the Senate to pass, not the unreachable 60 votes.
Speaker Paul Ryan said this is the bill that will essentially defund Planned Parenthood:
.@SpeakerRyan says defunding for Planned Parenthood has to happen in reconciliation, not in funding bill bc it needs 60 votes in Senate.
— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) May 2, 2017
When will this all happen?
The House could vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare and deliver on their promise to remove taxpayer funding of abortion this week. It’s very much up in the air. The Senate is dependent on their action and the bill could be significantly changed there.
Why should I care?
1 – Because our tax dollars fund the nation’s largest abortion vendor and that is unacceptable and,
2- We elected these people because they said they would defund Planned Parenthood. They need to keep their promises.
What should I do?
Call your Congressman and Senator and tell them to defund Planned Parenthood (find your representatives here). There are many, many reasons to defund this organization, many of which Kristan lays out here.