Some Pro-Lifers Urge GOP to Oppose CR Over Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2011   |   6:43PM   |   Washington, DC

Some national pro-life groups are urging Republicans to vote against the short-term Continuing Resolution the House is expected to vote on during a Tuesday session because it does not contain certain pro-life provisions.

House Republicans were forced to release a new bill, which funds the government for three weeks — to April 2 — because pro-abortion Senate Democrats defeated the long-term bill containing pro-life provisions all major national pro-life groups supports. The long-term bill the House passed, HR 1, had reinstated the Mexico City Policy, stops abortion funding in the District of Columbia and de-funds the pro-abortion UNFPA, which works hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions to enforce the one-child policy.

Speaker John Boehner has already said he is focused on getting the pro-life measures in a long-term funding bill so they can have some permanency and not spending political capital on the short-term bills that would only change public policy for a few weeks. As a result, the latest short-term CR, which is the second short-term bill the House has put forward since adopting the longer, pro-life version, does not contain the Pence Amendment de-funding Planned Parenthood or the pro-life riders.

Focused on the longer-term battle, some pro-life groups have not issued statements against the bill and appear to be working behind the scenes to find a way to get a long-term bill approved that has the pro-life provisions intact so they can become long-term policy for the federal government. But other groups, like the Susan B. Anthony List, are actively opposing the short-term bill.

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser told she urges House members to vote against the measure.

“If Congress can’t cut off taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, a willing partner of the exploitation of women and young girls, how can it be serious about cutting spending anywhere else?” said Dannenfelser. “The time to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is not next week, or in three weeks, or in a month, it’s now. Ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in both short-term and long-term Continuing Resolution bills is a non-negotiable.”

“Taxpayers have strongly rejected their complicity with Planned Parenthood in the sex trafficking of underage girls,” said Dannenfelser.  “Americans have spoken and the time to defund Planned Parenthood, a habitual and unapologetic ally of those who deal in the exploitation of minors, is now.”

Tony Perkins, the president of Family Research Council, doesn’t like it either and the group plans to score the vote — meaning it will consider the vote on the short-term CR as one of the votes it will use to determine whether lawmakers voted consistently pro-life. However, scores of pro-life lawmakers will likely vote for the legislation — because they are working strategically to secure passage of a long-term bill with the pro-life provisions and want to avoid a governmental shutdown while doing so.

“Much to the displeasure of voters and dozens of organizations like FRC, the proposal sidelines every pro-life provision for which we fought,” Perkins said. “Apparently, some Republicans are worried that the bill will get hung up by the language to defund Planned Parenthood and D.C. abortions. All the more reason to have this battle now and move on.”

“Government shutdown or no government shutdown, there’s never going to be a convenient time to have this debate. Whether Congress is budgeting for 30 days or 300, abortion will always generate controversy. Is that a good reason to avoid it? Absolutely not. Every time the leadership puts off these amendments, it becomes that even more difficult to face them next time around. Democrats will be perfectly content to bounce from short-term CR to short-term CR if they know Republicans will acquiesce on life,” he continued.

SBA List and FRC will have some supporters as Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio says he plans to vote against the new CR because it doesn’t have the same pro-life provisions as is in the bill the pro-abortion Senate Democrats defeated and Sen. Marco Rubio says he is voting no as well.

Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, John Ensign of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are expected to join him.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said GOP leaders are focused on passing another long-term bill, that pro-life groups hope will have the same amendments attached.

“Beyond this 3-week measure, House Republicans will continue to work on a long-term CR to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year,” he said. “Though there are visible divisions in the Democrat party, we hope that our friends on the other side of the aisle will work with the President and join us on a measure to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that contains serious spending cuts and makes Washington begin to live within its means.”

The House is set to vote on the measure on Tuesday and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Senate Democrats would support it.