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Senate Votes Next Week on Planned Parenthood-Related Funding Bills

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 3/4/11 5:45 PM

National

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote next week on a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government and government programs through September that does not de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a pro-abortion Democrat, has filed cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1, the long-term Continuing Resolution the House approved in February that contains the Pence Amendment de-funding Planned Parenthood. Upon the conclusion of the Senate’s current debate on the Patent Reform bill, likely on Tuesday, the Senate will immediately proceed to a vote on Reid’s cloture petition to allow a debate and vote.

The expectation is that, if the Senate adopts cloture, Reid would push for votes on both the House bill as well as a Senate version — with the understanding that neither bill will probably get the 60 votes needed for a cloture vote beforehand to shut off debate and move to a vote on final passage.

When they vote on the Senate version, lawmakers will be voting on a bill that does not de-fund Planned Parenthood and does not contain the pro-life policy riders the House added to its legislation that reinstates the Mexico City Policy, stops abortion funding in the District of Columbia, and de-funds the pro-abortion UNFPA, which works hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions to enforce the one-child policy.

A report in The Hill, a congressional newspaper, indicates the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday afternoon released details about the highlights of the Senate bill and it showed Senate Democrats do not want the Pence Amendment de-funding Planned Parenthood in their measure.

“Such language has no place in a bill that is necessary to keep the government operating, and therefore is not included in the Senate version,” Appropriations Democrats said.

As LifeNews.com reported today, President Barack Obama has indicated he will veto a Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government but cuts funding for the nation’s largest abortion business. Reid has also indicated he does not support the Planned Parenthood funding ban in the bill.

Following the House passage of the CR with the Pence Amendment, Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates began heavily lobbying senators against a CR that de-funds it and it says it has generated more than 700,000 messages to members of Congress.

Today, a coalition of pro-life groups say they have generated more than 1 million emails and petitions to House and Senate lawmakers supporting de-funding and the pro-life provisions in the House-approved bill.

Brian Burch of Catholic Vote talked about the impending battles.

“Two weeks ago the House approved an amendment to block all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. But the fight continues,” he told LifeNews.com. “Planned Parenthood is on the move with radio ads, and a massive lobbying campaign to salvage access to hundreds of millions of our dollars. They know what’s at stake. Losing access to these funds will cripple them.”

“We must overwhelm the Senate! And if they attempt to restore Planned Parenthood funding, we must demand that Republicans in the House stand firm — and insist that this funding ban be included in any budget measure,” he said. “The long battle to end funding for Planned Parenthood is culminating right before our eyes. Please stay engaged. We need your help now more than ever. ”

ACTION: Contact your senators at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm and urge them to vote for HR 1 and to de-fund Planned Paernthood. Urge them to oppose the Senate alternative that does not de-fund Planned Parenthood.