Pro-Lifers to Boehner: Fight for Planned Parenthood De-Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2011   |   11:27AM   |   Washington, DC

A few dozen leaders of pro-life organizations sent House Speaker John Boehner a letter on Thursday asking him to fight for the Pence Amendment — the legislative language preventing the Planned Parenthood abortion business from receiving any taxpayer funds under the Continuing Resolution.

The groups fear that the Senate version of the bill to bill to temporarily fund the federal government will not contain similar language — making it so a conference committee of House and Senate leaders will have to negotiate a final version.

When those negotiation take place, which will include Boehner or his representatives, the pro-life groups want the Pence Amendment made a high priority.

The letter, which signed onto, reads as follows:

Dear Speaker Boehner,

Planned Parenthood, a scandal-plagued abortion organization, must be held accountable for abusing innocent young victims while receiving hundreds of millions in federal dollars each year.

They must be defunded of federal tax dollars, and now is the time to do it. The House vote in support of Rep. Mike Pence’s Amendment No. 11 to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1) to prevent government funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is an excellent start. 

However, the House vote on the Pence Amendment is nothing more than symbolic unless it remains intact through the legislative process. Defunding Planned Parenthood must be a non-negotiable in the Continuing Resolution and we urge you to accept nothing less than this outcome.

The fact that Planned Parenthood was caught aiding and abetting sex traffickers proves that it is not safe for women and young girls. What goes on in offices and clinics of Planned Parenthood, as Live Action’s videos show, is both saddening and shocking. That it has often been done using taxpayer dollars is indefensible.

As the largest abortion company in the United States, Planned Parenthood repeatedly refuses to comply with state statutory rape reporting laws, and often ignores parental consent laws.

Just this week, Phill Kline, former Attorney General of Kansas, testified under oath that Planned Parenthood of Overland Park and the late abortionist George Tiller performed abortions on a combined 166 girls, age fourteen or younger. Out of the 166 cases of statutory rape, just two were reported to authorities, Kline testified.

As debate over the Continuing Resolution continues we urge you to do everything you can to ensure that the Pence Amendment remains intact in the final version of the Continuing Resolution. Planned Parenthood is not safe for women, it is not safe for young girls, and it must be defunded now.

Some of the signers of the letter include Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, Lila Rose of Live Action, Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Brian Burch of Catholic Vote, David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, and Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum.

Others include Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, Gary Bauer of American Values, Steven W. Mosher of the Population Research Institute, Erick Erickson of RedState, and Matt Smith of Catholic Advocate.

House members approved the Pence amendment on a 240-185 vote with 10 Democrats joining most Republicans to support de-funding the abortion business. Another 7 Republicans sided with almost all of the pro-abortion Democrats in the lower chamber in voting for the pro-abortion organization to receive taxpayer funds. Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana was the main sponsor of the amendment, which prevents federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s national organization and 102 named affiliates.

The Pence Amendment does not affect the funding level for any federal program.  Instead, it disqualifies PPFA and its named affiliates from receiving any type of federal funds. Though some Democrats claimed the amendment is unconstitutional, in a 2010 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected a claim that a similar law, cutting off federal funds for the organization ACORN and its affiliates, violated the Constitution’s Bill of Attainder Clause

The amendment ensures none of the federal funds in any program or department would go to the abortion business, which does more than 324,000 abortions annually and receives more than $363 million in federal, state and local taxpayer funds.