by Steven Ertelt
October 25, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A coalition of sixty pro-life groups have signed onto a letter to every member of the House and Senate asking that Congress stop providing federal funds to Planned Parenthood. The letter follows the more than 100 charges a Kansas county attorney has leveled against an abortion business there.
Since most Planned Parenthood abortion centers follow similar internal health and safety protocols, the groups say that it’s likely other Planned Parenthood facilities are breaking the law as well.
A judge reviewed the 107 charges that Johnson County Attorney Phill Kline filed against the Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, Kansas and indicated there was enough "probable cause" to proceed with a trial.
"Planned Parenthood operates around 860 facilities around the country, and there are approximately 40 states with laws banning late term abortions. This illegal conduct may be happening all over the country," the letter says.
"We urge you to act to ensure that our tax dollars are not subsidizing abortion clinics that perform possibly illegal late-term abortions," the letter, provided to LifeNews.com, adds.
Groups that signed the letter included Concerned Women For America, Focus on the Family, Eagle Forum, American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, and Americans United for Life.
Current Title X rules prohibit federal money going directly for abortions. But the rules allow groups such as Planned Parenthood and others who do abortions to receive government money for family planning programs.
The pro-life groups say that Congress should not be providing direct funding to abortion businesses even if the money isn’t directly going to abortions.
However, on Thursday of last week, the Senate ejected an effort by pro-life lawmakers to cut federal funding for family planning efforts carried out by abortion facilities.
The Senate voted 52-41 against the amendment pro-life Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, offered to the fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (S 1710).
During the debate on his amendment, Vitter said it is a "very reasonable mainstream policy to say" that the government is not going to "support groups that perform abortions."
Vitter added that federal funds subsidize abortion by supporting organizations that provide them, even if the groups do not use federal funding to perform abortions.
"The way it works now, we send federal dollars to abortion providers … and it supports their overhead and it supports their organizations," he said.
But pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, led the fight against the Vitter amendment and claimed it would have done "nothing to reduce abortions."
Republicans were unified in support of the amendment with even pro-life Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania voting against it.
Republican Sens. Kit Bond, Sue Collins, Dick Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, and Ted Stevens joined Democrats in voting against the Vitter amendment.
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