Boehner Postpones Abortion, Health Care Votes After Giffords Shooting

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 9, 2011   |   3:24PM   |   Washington, DC

Speaker John Boehner, the pro-life Republican who heads the House of Representatives, has postponed votes originally planned for next week on repealing the ObamaCare health care law and stopping funding of the pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood.

Boehner put off the legislative agenda Congress had planned for next week following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who supports legalized abortion.

Giffords was shot at a community event in her Arizona congressional district and was severely injured after a shot to her head at a range of two feet.

The shooter, believed to be 22-year-old suspect Jared Lee Loughner, waited in line to approach Giffords, shot her, and also shot approximately 20 other people. At least six others were killed and 13 injured in the tragic incident.

Responding to the Arizona shooting, Boehner expressed words of sympathy and condolences to the families of both Giffords and the other victims, including federal Judge John Roll, appointed by pro-life former President George Bush.

“The thoughts and prayers of the House and the nation are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family. We’re also praying for the families of Judge Roll and all of those who were taken from us yesterday so senselessly,” he said. “An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Such acts of violence have no place in our society.”

Concerning the legislative agenda of the House, Boehner said, “Last night, the Majority Leader announced that the normal business of the House in the coming week has been postponed so that we can take necessary action regarding yesterday’s events. The Majority Leader will announce a revised schedule.”

“Public service is a high honor, but these tragic events remind us that all of us in our roles in service to our fellow citizens comes with a risk. This inhuman act should not and will not deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office. No act, no matter how heinous, must be allowed to stop us from our duty,” he said in the statement received.

Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a pro-abortion lawmaker from Missouri, thanked the Speaker for putting off the votes in the wake of the tragedy.

“I think that this was the right move. This was not the week for us to go into a seven-hour debate that is very divisive, but I think as soon as we come back, we need to get back to the business of the people,” he said.

The House of Representatives took its first step last week in repealing the abortion-funding ObamaCare bill that pro-life groups strongly oppose.

On a 236-181 vote, Republicans approved the rules for debate for the legislation they will vote on next week to repeal the government takeover of health care. Four Democrats (Reps. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell of North Carolina and Mike Ross of Arkansas) joined Republicans in supporting the rule while two Republicans voted present and 15 lawmakers of both parties did not vote.

The vote also paves the way for axing the abortion funding from ObamaCare.

The rule also provides for consideration of H. Res. 9, which instructs relevant House Committees to replace Obamacare with legislation that achieves certain goals including to “prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions and provide conscience protections for health care providers.”

Members of Congress are also scheduled to vote soon on a bill sponsored by pro-life Congressman Mike pence that would revoke federal taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act ensures that taxpayer money authorized by the federal government for family planning efforts supposedly to reduce abortions don’t go to the nation’s biggest abortion business.

Last year alone, according to Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, it received more than $363 million in revenue from government grants and contracts. During that same timeframe, it did 324,008 abortions, a 5.8 percent increase from the previous year, which also set a record high at that time.

“It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life by abortion.  It is also morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to promote abortion at home or abroad,” Pence said on Friday on the House floor in introducing his bill.