Update (5/9): The Drudge Report ran the photo from the Axios story with SFLA’s photo and the Planned Parenthood shot:
Last month, pro-life Democrat from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, posed in this photo:
— PP South Atlantic WV (@PPSATWV) April 19, 2017
That didn’t go over well with pro-lifers. Sen. Manchin has said over and over that is pro-life, that he grew up in a pro-life family, and he’s even voted to defund Planned Parenthood in the past.
But Planned Parenthood had gotten a hold of him and fed him lie after lie to garner his support. Instead of making statements in the media or tweeting displeasure, we decided to take action and show him that this generation is pro-life, that his own constituents are pro-life, and that voting anything other than pro-life is betraying his values and promises and hurting women and innocent children.
So when one of Washington, DCs most prominent news outlets announced they were holding a Playbook Interview with Senator Manchin at a hotel in downtown DC last Thursday, we planned to go with signs geared towards asking him to keep his pro-life promises and vote to defund Planned Parenthood.
Rallying as pro-lifers!
A handful of team members from Students for Life of America and several students from West Virginia got to the Washington Court Hotel a little before Sen. Manchin had his Playbook Interview. We were holding signs that encouraged him to vote to defund Planned Parenthood.
When he saw us, he graciously stopped to chat before going inside and then invited us for breakfast after the Playbook event was done.
Our president, Kristan Hawkins, attended the Playbook Interview, where the first question out of the gate was about Planned Parenthood, due to our presence outside. Sen. Manchin said he’s pro-life but got a couple things wrong:
- He said there are no abortion facilities in West Virginia. That’s incorrect. There is an independent abortion facility in the state capitol of Charleston.
- He said that the Center for Medical Progress videos depicting Planned Parenthood top executives discussing the harvesting and sale of aborted baby body parts were false. That’s untrue as well. Two forensic reports detail the authenticity of the videos.
Our meeting with Sen. Manchin
True to his word, Senator Manchin met with Kristan, our team, and pro-life students following his interview.
We were more than prepared! Our students showed the Senator the differences between the services that Planned Parenthood provides vs. Federally Qualified Health Centers:
They showed him a map of all the community health centers within 100-mile radius of Charleston (there were so many you couldn’t even see the names of towns):
We talked about how Planned Parenthood’s government funding is rising yet their other services besides abortion are falling (see this Live Action video).
And we discussed what he got wrong about the Center for Medical Progress videos. Once we talked about the two forensic reports showing that the videos are real, that got the Senator’s undivided attention.
In fact, he said he would even consider voting to defund Planned Parenthood if those videos are real.
Well, let’s make that happen
Senator Manchin said he would be willing to meet with David Daleiden, the head of the Center for Medical Progress. Well, what do you know but David happened to be in town. Immediately following breakfast, Kristan was scheduled to meet with David anyways so she picked him up and they went over to Sen. Manchin’s office.
They met with his staff for 25 minutes and then the Senator joined them for about five minutes at the end. Not only did David explain that the videos were authentic, but he also countered their point that there have been 13 state investigations and none of them found any wrongdoing at Planned Parenthood.
David explained that those investigations involved health departments, which have zero subpoena power and no investigative power. For investigations that do have subpoena power, like say Congressional committees, those investigations did find significant wrongdoing, enough to send over a dozen criminal referrals to state Attorneys General and the US Department of Justice.
Kristan and David left hopeful that it’s possible that the Senator could change his mind.
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) May 9, 2017
“You can’t be pro-life and vote to fund Planned Parenthood”
This is what Kristan said the moment Senator Manchin walked into the meeting with her and David and his staff.
And she’s exactly right. Planned Parenthood committed 323,999 abortions in 2015 (the latest data available). That is one of every three abortions in the country.
There is no way that someone who claims to be pro-life can possibly vote to fund this organization. If an elected official is ‘personally pro-life’, what does that even mean if they don’t act on their conscience?
It means nothing. It’s an empty value.
The healthcare bill has passed the House and now heads to the Senate. If the Senate passes it and keeps the provision to defund Planned Parenthood in the bill, then all that has to happen is for President Trump to sign it, which he promised to do.
Our elected officials need to keep their promises. They need to defund Planned Parenthood.