House De-Funds Planned Parenthood, Senate Allows Funding
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 4/14/11 5:35 PM
The House of Representatives voted today for the Continuing Resolution funding the federal government that contains a ban on abortion funding in the nation’s capital. House lawmakers also supported efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood, but senators voted no.
On a 260-167 vote, lawmakers approved a funding bill that reinstates the abortion funding ban in the District of Columbia that President Barack Obama and Democrats overturned in their budget bills last year.
Following that vote, House members voted 241-185 for a resolution that would prohibit the Planned Parenthood abortion business from qualifying for family planning funds. The vote saw almost all Republicans supporting de-funding while Democrats generally opposed it. (See vote tallies below.)
After the House voted, members of the Senate voted 58-42 against the resolution to de-fund Planned Parenthood. The vote was mostly partisan — with Republicans supporting de-funding and Democrats voting no — though pro-abortion Republicans Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine voted no as well.
The vote also saw three self-declared pro-life Democrats, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Manchin of West Virginia all vote to allow tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to continue flowing to the nation’s biggest abortion business. Their votes will likely cost them them support from pro-life organizations and pro-life voters in the 2012 elections as they each face difficult re-election campaigns.
In addition to the ban on DC abortion funding
, the continuing resolution also cuts funding
to the pro-abortion UNFPA (United Nations Family Planning Agency) that has worked hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who have enforced the one-child rule with forced abortions and other human rights abuses. Republicans trimmed funding for the agency from the $55 million President Barack Obama put in place to $40 million.
The bill also cuts international population control and family planning funding to $575 million from the $648 million Congress authorized in 2010. This is important because, thanks to Obama’s decision to revoke the Mexico City Policy, some of this funding goes to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International, which do abortions in other nations and lobby other countries to legalize or expand legal abortions. This cut ensures fewer taxpayer dollars will flow to these organizations to advance abortion on an international scale.
The GOP long-term CR also cuts the Title X domestic family planning funding, the pool of money from which Planned Parenthood is funded. The cuts take the program from the $317 million it received in 2010 to $300 million, the level of money it received in 2008 and decreasing the pool of funds from which Planned Parenthood can draw.
Following the vote on the budget bill, lawmakers debate and voted on a measure that would de-fund Planned Parenthood — a vote necessitated by the agreement Speaker John Boehner reached with Obama and Senate Democrats allowing for a vote in the Senate on de-funding.
Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee Republican, sponsored the measure and said Planned Parenthood supporters are “using scare tactics and their lies are distracting from the real facts” that Planned Parenthood is “America’s largest abortion provider.”
Rep. Martha Roby, an Alabama Republican, agreed and said, “Every two minutes a life is lost because of an abortion, and that adds up to 3,300 lives a day and 1.2 million a year…. about in an every four abortions is performed at a Planned Parenthood location. Planned Parenthood has mandated that every affiliate has one clinic performing abortions in the next two years.”
The measure has the support of lawmakers like Rep. Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi, Mike Pence of Indiana, and Chris Smith of New Jersey. On the other side, pro-abortion activists like Tim Ryan of Ohio, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Diana DeGette of Colorado and Nita Lowey of New York argued for funding the abortion business with taxpayer dollars.
Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood funding vote came in at a similar margin to the previous vote, when the House de-funded Planned Parenthood on a 240-185 margin
Before the vote, pro-life groups urged Congress to support def-de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life said: “Recent polls reveal that an overwhelming majority of Americans—whether pro-life or pro-abortion—oppose the use of federal monies to support abortion. In 2009, Planned Parenthood reported performing 332,278 abortions, 8,270 more abortions than it performed in 2008. Planned Parenthood is expanding the reach of its abortion business by dispensing the abortion drug RU-486 via Skype, in violation of the Food and Drug Administration’s protocol, and circumventing state laws designed to protect women. Planned Parenthood itself has recently made plain the centrality of abortion to its mission, mandating that every Planned Parenthood affiliate have at least one clinic performing abortion within the next two years.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins added: “It has never been more critical for Congress to end federal funding for scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood, an organization that uses taxpayer funds to pad its profit line while performing more than 330,000 abortions each year. Taxpayers send Planned Parenthood more than $360 million each year, more than one-third of their $1 billion income. At a time when the federal deficit is growing to suffocating proportions, taxpayers should not be subsidizing an abortion giant, especially when they have demonstrated they do not need the funds.”