Senate Asked to Approve Bill De-Funding Planned Parenthood

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2011   |   2:32PM   |   Washington, DC

Now that Congress has approved a Continuing Resolution funding the federal government for two additional weeks, pro-life advocates are calling on the Senate to approve the House-passed funding bill that de-funds Planned Parenthood.

The House already approved a long-term spending measure that funds the federal government and includes the Pence Amendment de-funding Planned Parenthood. After passage, pro-life House Speaker John Boehner mapped out the strategy for moving the de-funding provisions further and he told CBN News he didn’t think the two-week Continuing Resolution would be the best vehicle to secure long-term support for the Pence Amendment.

That yielded some backlash from pro-life groups over strategy as they wanted Boehner to press for including the Pence Amendment in the short-term bill — but he said that could lead to a government shutdown for which Republicans would be blamed. Boehner said the best chance at promoting the Pence Amendment beyond the House-approved long-term Continuing Resolution is for the Senate to take up the bill or to include the amendment in a similar bill funding the federal government.

With the short-term CR completed and the focus coming back to the longer-term government funding bill, Americans United for Life is calling on the Senate to do what Boehner suggested.

Americans United for Life Action president Charmaine Yoest called on the Senate to advance the Pence Amendment and said the long-term funding bill “which would cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood and passed with bi-partisan support in the House in February — has the support of the overwhelming majority of Americans who do not want to subsidize abortion.”

“The onus is now on the Senate to ensure that Americans are no longer forced to fund the nation’s largest abortion provider with their tax dollars,” she said. “The Government ought to spend its time and our money funding things that matter to the American people — not subsidizing the abortion industry and funding corrupt organizations like Planned Parenthood.”

“Consistent with the position of the majority of Americans—and as the House prepares to make further cuts to government spending—Congress’ next priority should be to zero out taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates permanently,” Yoest added. “De-Funding Planned Parenthood should be the most bi-partisan effort on Capitol Hill.”

She concluded: “We know that more than 70 percent of Americans — pro-life and pro-abortion — do not want their tax dollars going to abortion. Particularly in this time of economic uncertainty, Americans should not be forced to sit by and watch their tax dollars spent on abortion and funding organizations like Planned Parenthood, which consistently demonstrates a blatant disregard for women’s health and the law.”

Boehner, following today’s Senate vote for the short-term bill, encouraged the Senate to move forward on the long-term version.

“H.R. 1 makes common-sense spending cuts that economists say are needed to help boost our economy, while keeping the government running for the rest of the fiscal year,” he said. “The responsibility lies with the Senate to now follow the House in passing legislation to cut spending and keep the government running through the end of the fiscal year.”

“Senate passage today of the House-passed short-term funding bill means the Senate now has two more weeks to accomplish this goal,” Boehner added. “Washington Democrats must either bring H.R. 1 to a vote in the Senate, or outline and pass their own plan for cutting spending and keeping the government funded through September.”

Meanwhile, Family Research Council and a coalition of 60 other pro-life groups sent a letter recently thanking members of the House for voting for the pence amendment,

The letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor includes the following:

“We applaud you for holding to your principles by voting for this amendment.

“Planned Parenthood, a scandal-plagued abortion company, does not deserve hundreds of millions in federal dollars each year while it continues to abuse innocent young victims. As you know, recent evidence proves that Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, not only left minor girls trapped in prostitution, but was willing to aid the sex traffickers who would profit from this activity. What goes on behind the windowless offices of Planned Parenthood, as Live Action’s videos show, is both saddening and shocking. There is evidence too showing that Planned Parenthood clinics have repeatedly refused to comply with state statutory rape reporting laws and often ignore parental consent laws. The fact that this has often been done with taxpayer dollars is indefensible.

“Funding Planned Parenthood and its affiliates does not decrease abortion. Rather, it increases the incidence of abortion, while it also encourages irresponsible and sometimes illegal activities that harm young women. In addition, Planned Parenthood’s abortion machine massively outpaces its adoption referrals. In 2008 a woman entering a Planned Parenthood clinic was 134 times more likely to have an abortion than be referred for adoption.”