Harry Reid: GOP Must Give Up De-Funding Planned Parenthood

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 17, 2011   |   5:17PM   |   Washington, DC

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said today that Republicans who favor cutting taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business need to give up their quest because the Senate will not agree to it.

House Republicans passed a long-term continuing resolution — a bill to fund the federal government through the latter part of the year — that Senate Democrats rejected recently. Both chambers are back to negotiating a new bill now that another short-term measure has been approved by both to fund the government for three weeks.

Today, Reid, a Nevada senator who claims to be pro-life but has carved out a strongly pro-abortion voting record — led off those negotiations with a brick wall by telling Republicans cutting the tens of millions of dollars Planned Parenthood gets annually is a nonstarter. He said de-funding Planned Parenthood can’t be a part of any long-term bill the Senate negotiates.

“The stuff they’ve done with something I’ve worked on for years — contraception — is untoward and won’t be part of an agreement,” Reid said, according to a report in The Hill.

“Those that I focused on are not only no, but hell no,” Reid said, he said of the amendments like the Planned Parenthood one he opposes.

The comment focuses only on the small portion of Planned Parenthood’s business that deals with family planning — while it has become the largest abortion business in the nation and now does more than one-quarter of all abortions in the United States each year.

Staff for both Reid and pro-life Speaker John Boehner met for over 90 minutes Wednesday night to begin the discussions on putting together a long-term bill that will fund the federal government beyond April 8, when the most recent short-term measure runs out.

Fr. Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, responded to Reid’s insistence that any agreement on funding the government will include funding of Planned Parenthood.

“If that’s the case,” Fr. Pavone said, “then shut it down. When a government funds massive child-killing, it has betrayed its very purpose anyway. Maybe a shutdown will give our government officials a chance to reflect on what government should be doing in the first place – serving life, not helping to destroy it.”

“Priests for Life will make sure that Churches across America receive the voting records of the members of Congress on any votes that affect the funding of Planned Parenthood, and inform their congregations in next year’s election cycle. We need public servants who can tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public,” Pavone said.

Reid’s comments follow a letter19 Senate Democrats sent to pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden saying they will not support any continuing resolution that de-funds Planned Parenthood.

On Tuesday, the House approvedthe latest short-term continuing resolution on a 271-158 vote margin that does not de-fund Planned Parenthood. The Senate is expected to approve the bill and the battle over Planned Parenthood funding remains. Some 54 Republicans voted against the measure because they wanted to see the Pence Amendment de-funding Planned Parenthood and the pro-life riders that stop abortion funding in various instances included in the measure. However, Senate Democrats have balked at those pro-life provisions and Republicans hoped to avoid being blamed for a government shutdown by insisting they be included in the short-term bill.

Democrats ignore the fact that a new report the Planned Parenthood national abortion business recently released shows the embattled agency did more abortions in 2009 than it has done in any prior year. The report also shows it providing fewer pregnant women with non-abortion services.

This document, dated February 2011, shows Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide did 332,278 surgical abortions or abortions using the dangerous RU 486 abortion during in 2009. That’s 2.5 percent more abortions than the September 2010 report the abortion business released covering 2008. With approximately 1.2 million abortions done annually in the United States via surgical abortions or the mifepristone abortion drug, Planned Parenthood has increased its share of the abortion industry to 27.6 percent of all abortions done annually.

The new document the abortion organization posted shows Planned Parenthood provided prenatal services to merely 7,021 women and referred only 977 women for adoption services. These numbers were a 25 percent drop in prenatal care clients and a whopping 59 percent decline in adoption referrals from the 2,405 adoption referrals in 2008. The abortion business helped only 9,433 prenatal clients in 2008, down substantially from the 11,000 women it provided prenatal care to in 2007 — showing health care given to pregnant woman has fallen substantially over the years.

As a result, 97.6 percent of pregnant women going to Planned Parenthood are sold abortions while less than 2.4 percent of pregnant women received non-abortion services including adoption and prenatal care. That’s up from 96.5 percent of pregnant women going to Planned Parenthood getting abortions in 2008.

Planned Parenthood has been on the receiving end of significant negative publicity related to undercover videos showing its officials helping investigators posing as sex traffickers obtain abortions and STD testing for underage girls who are victims of the sex trade. The abortion business has defended itself in part by attempting to show that abortions constitute a small percentage of its overall services.

The long-term bill the House passed, HR 1, had also reinstatedthe 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.

Following the House passage of the CR with the Pence Amendment, Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates began heavily lobbyingsenators against a CR that de-funds it and it says it has generated more than 800,000 messages to members of Congress.

A coalition of pro-life groups say they have generated more than 1 million emailsand petitions to House and Senate lawmakers supporting de-funding and the pro-life provisions in the House-approved bill.