Manchin Blasted by Pro-Life Group for Funding Planned Parenthood

State   Steven Ertelt   Apr 18, 2011   |   3:52PM    Charleston, WV

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is earning strong criticism from a pro-life group who says the self-declared pro-life senator who is working overtime to cover up his support for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Manchin joined every one of his fellow Democrats in the Senate last week in voting down a House-approved resolution that would have yanked taxpayer funding for the abortion business in the long-term budget Congress approved for the remainder of the year. Then, late last week, he announced to the media that he has filed a bill that would supposedly put safeguards in place to prevent Title X money that goes to Planned Parenthood from paying for abortions.

But that wasn’t the main concern of pro-life groups — they were worried about the issue of fungibility, that taxpayer dollars are going to a business that pays for abortions and the funds can be used to cover staff, facilities, equipment and other things the abortion uses for both its abortion and non-abortion services.

Manchin said after his vote for Planned Parenthood funding that he offered the “Title X Transparency and Verification Act” as a “lifelong abortion opponent” to “ensure that all West Virginians and all Americans can easily access and independently verify information that not one single federal taxpayer dollar is used to fund abortions in this country.”

“I believe there needs to be a strict firewall around the vital services that Title X funds provide — such as cancer screenings and family planning — so that those federal funds are never, ever used for a single abortion, except in the case of rape, incest and life of the mother,” he said.

But West Virginians for Life, upset that Manchin voted to fund the abortion business, called the legislation “irrelevant” and “a cover” for his vote.

“Pro-life West Virginians are profoundly disappointed in Senator Manchin’s April 14 vote to allow taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider,” said West Virginians for Life Communications Director Mary Anne Buchanan in a statement to LifeNews.

“Senator Manchin’s bill is meaningless,” Buchanan pointed out. “No one is saying that the Title X funds go directly to pay for abortions.  These funds to Planned Parenthood can be used to underwrite their infrastructure and promote their organization.  Manchin’s vote not to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood means our tax dollars will subsidize an organization in which nearly one of every eight women who walks through its doors has an abortion.”

“Manchin’s vote in support of Planned Parenthood is in opposition to the wishes of the people of this state,” she continued.  “Pro-life West Virginians who supported his election feel betrayed.”

Buchanan said the more important point in the debate is that Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the largest provider and promoter of abortions in the country, performing 332,278 abortions in 2009 and that it has mandated that all of its affiliates locally have one center doing abortions by 2013.

“PPFA has attempted to hide behind the notion that the money provided through federal funding is not used to directly perform abortions.  However, this is just an accounting gimmick.  Planned Parenthood uses the federal funding to keep their clinic doors open, pay salaries and utilities as the organization’s name and business in the community continues to be promoted,” she said.

ACTION: Contact Manchin at https://manchin.senate.gov/contact_form.cfm