House CR Cuts Abortion Funds, UNFPA, Population Control Money

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2011   |   10:46AM   |   Washington, DC

House Republicans have unveiled the language of the long-term Continuing Resolution and are giving the pro-life community more good news when it comes to de-funding abortion and pro-abortion groups.

The deal pro-life Speaker John Boehner arranged late Friday night allows for the reinstatement of the ban on funding abortions in the District of Columbia, which is projected to save the lives of approximately 1,000 unborn children annually who may have otherwise become victims of taxpayer-funded abortions. The deal also forced the Senate to allow a vote on revoking the taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business, something pro-abortion Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid previously said he would not allow.

Today, in unveiling the language of the Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2011, House Republicans have made further cuts that are sure to please pro-life advocates. Meanwhile, Reps. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) and Martha Roby (R-Alabama) have co-sponsored an enrollment correction resolution — essentially the language that will be added to the bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood and on which the Senate will vote.

The House is expected to consider the FY11 CR and two enrollment corrections, the one de-funding Planned Parenthood and a second to add language to defund the Obamacare health car bill, on Thursday. If all three bills pass the House, as is expected, the Senate will likely consider them before the current temporary CR expires on Friday.

However, Republicans added more cuts in the long-term resolution as one section cuts funding to the pro-abortion UNFPA (United Nations Family Planning Agency) that has worked hand-in-hand with Chinese population control officials who have enforced the one-child rule with forced abortions and other human rights abuses. Republicans trimmed funding for the agency from the $55 million President Barack Obama put in place to $40 million.

The bill also cuts international population control and family planning funding to $575 million from the $648 million Congress authorized in 2010. This is important because, thanks to Obama’s decision to revoke the Mexico City Policy, some of this funding goes to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International, which do abortions in other nations and lobby other countries to legalize or expand legal abortions. This cut ensures fewer taxpayer dollars will flow to these organizations to advance abortion on an international scale.

The GOP long-term CR also cuts the Title X domestic family planning funding, the pool of money from which Planned Parenthood is funded. The cuts take the program from the $317 million it received in 2010 to $300 million, the level of money it received in 2008 and decreasing the pool of funds from which Planned Parenthood can draw.

When it comes to the Senate vote on Planned Parenthood, Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote, told his group would hold any senators politically accountable for voting against the amendment.

“Any Senator who votes to continue taxpayer support for scandal-ridden Planned Parenthood will be a prime target of our election efforts in 2012. These votes will have consequences. If Senators want our support, they must earn it. And if they fail us, we will do everything possible to defeat them,” he said.

The vote also provides pro-life advocates an opportunity to further raise points about how Planned Parenthood doesn’t protect women’s health, has covered up cases of sexual abuse, and has used $363 million in annual federal funding from the government to prop up a business that now does more than one-quarter of all abortions in the nation.

The Planned Parenthood funding vote in the Senate also contains significant 2012 election implications for the three “pro-life” Democrats who will be up for re-election next year — Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Other Democrats who are under the gun next election year and face tough re-election battles may also take heavy criticism from pro-life advocates if they vote to keep tens of millions of dollars going to the nation’s biggest abortion business.

The DC abortion funding ban would restore the Dornanamendment to ensure that no congressionally appropriated funds (whether locally or federally generated) may pay for abortion in the District of Columbia.  The good news for pro-life advocates is that the inclusion of the Dornan Amendment in the one-week continuing resolution ensures it remains in place to prohibit abortion funding in the nation’s capital for the rest of the year.

When House Republicans put forward HR 1, the continuing resolution bill to fund the federal government for FY2011, they put language in the legislation to restore the ban on taxpayer funding of abortions in the District of Columbia that Obama and House Democrats overturned when they controlled the chamber. Since the defeat of HR 1, pro-life organizations have clamored for a restoration of the D.C. abortion funding ban and, now, it has returned.

The policy was in place from 1996-2009. Then, Democrats initially approved an omnibus spending bill lifting the 13-year-long ban on directly paying for abortions in the nation’s capital and Obama eventually signed the measure.

National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson wrote to members of Congress at that time urging them to oppose the bill because of the abortion funding in the District of Columbia and said the number of abortions in the nation’s capital would increase by 1,000 annually because of the taxpayer funding.

“The National Right to Life Committee urges you to vote against passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 3288), because the bill would lift a longstanding prohibition on the use of funds appropriated by Congress to pay for elective abortions in the District of Columbia,” the group said in a letter obtained.

“Prior to the initial adoption of the congressional ban, public funds were used to pay for over 4,000 abortions annually in the nation’s capital,” Johnson noted back then. “If the pro-life policy is lifted by enactment of H.R. 3288, public funding of elective abortion will resume, and the predictable result will be that the number of abortions performed will increase, probably by around 1,000 per year.”

Democrats have historically agreed to the language stopping taxpayer funding of abortions, also known as the DC Hyde Amendment.

The Dornan Amendment has even been included in numerous Appropriations bills supported by members on both sides of the abortion debate.  Notably, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who backs abortion, included the DC Abortion Funding ban in his own legislative text twice since Democrats gained control of the Senate in 2007.  President Clinton signed this policy into law six times and President Obama signed the policy into law for FY09 and voted to continue the policy twice while serving in the U.S. Senate.

ACTION: Contact your two U.S. senators and ask them to vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood.