When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, pro-life organization have one they definitely intend to keep: pressing for bills in Congress to de-fund abortion and Planned Parenthood.
“This is the time of year when we look forward to a new year with hope and anticipation. It’s the perfect time for making a list of resolutions to achieve greater life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” says Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest.
Saying the new pro-life controlled House of Representatives presents “opportunities opening up for the mission of defending life,” Yoest says her group has “very specific plans to work toward advancing our resolutions.”
“Number one on our list? Defund abortion HQ: Planned Parenthood,” she said. “Congress could give taxpayers a gift by defunding Planned Parenthood. Eliminating their yearly federal subsidy of over $300 million should be one of Congress’ top priorities.”
She says the abortion business has “a fundamental disconnect with the heart of most Americans, where the majority of us embrace unborn children in the womb as a gift, wrapped and hidden until the birth-day of celebration. Nothing compares to the joy a mother feels when she meets her child for the first time.”
Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, says the outlook for moving the bills through the House and forcing the Senate to consider them is good, explaining that “there is significant pro-life legislation with a real chance of passing the pro-life House of Representatives in the 112th Congress.”
Congressman Chris Smith, the New Jersey Republican who is the co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, is set to introduce the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” The bill would make several pro-life laws restricting taxpayer funding of abortions permanent instead of them coming up every year and having to be renewed by a Congress that is not pro-life every session.
“This bill would make the Hyde amendment (no federal funds from Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act used to pay for elective abortions), Helms amendment (no international abortion funding), Smith FEHBP amendment (no payment for federal employee’s elective abortion), the Dornan amendment (no funds for abortion in DC) and the conscience clause permanent,” ACLJ’s Sekulow explains. “Converting annually renewable amendments to statutory law would be a momentous victory for the pro-life movement.”
The need for the Smith bill is seen in the machinations of the Democratic-controlled Congress over the last two years as Democrats implemented President Barack Obama’s budget reversing the ban on taxpayer funding of abortions in the nation’s capital.
The legislation is so crucial for the pro-life movement that Congressman Dan Lipinski, a pro-life Democrat from Illinois who has co-sponsored it, says, “When the Dornan amendment was overturned in the omnibus spending bill last year, it served as a reminder of the need for permanent bans on federal funding of abortion.”
The pro-life movement is also, as Sekulow says, “not rolling over” when it comes to addressing the problems with ObamaCare.
Congressman Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, the new head of a key subcommittee that will tackle repealing or de-funding ObamaCare, has introduced legislation that ensures no abortions will be funded with taxpayer dollars under the health care law. The passage of the Pitts bill would codify the executive order Obama issued that pro-life groups panned because it did not properly stop abortion funding.
Leading pro-life groups are also pressing for passage of a bill sponsored by Rep, Mike Pence of Indiana that would ensure Title X family planning funds don’t go to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business.
“The momentum is on the “right” side of the abortion debate,” Sekulow concludes. “Young people, the next generation of social conservative activists, are increasingly pro-life. Social conservatives will never give up fighting for the unborn. Americans should not be forced to pay for what many of us believe to be tantamount to murder.”
“In the 112th Congress, we expect both of these bills to immediately pass the House and then face an uphill battle in the pro-abortion rights, Democrat-controlled US Senate,” he said.
Forcing the Senate and, potentially, Obama to consider the legislation is one resolution pro-life groups intend to keep.