GOP Leader Promises Another Vote to De-Fund Planned Parenthood

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 7, 2011   |   10:30AM   |   Washington, DC

The number two Republican in the House of Representatives told thousands of pro-life activists at the Values Voter Summit today that Republicans will hold another vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood if voters give the GOP control of the Senate next year.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a pro-life Virginia Republican, noted how GOP lawmakers pushed for a vote on revoking taxpayer funding to the abortion business earlier this year but expressed his disappointment that Senate Democrats defeated the measure. Should Republicans capture the upper chamber in next year’s presidential elections, Cantor said Americans can expect another attempt to yank funding for the abortion business.

“As you all know, at the beginning of our new majority, the House moved to cut off all taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood and its abortion clinics,” Cantor said. “After November 2012, we look forward to a Senate and White House that will partner with us to once and for all eliminate government funding for any and all organizations that perform abortions.”

The Senate rejected, on a 44-56 vote, the House-approved long-term budget bill that contained the Pence Amendment de-funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Lawmakers needed 60 votes to pass the bill under the rules of the Senate and did not come close to the number needed to do so. All of the Democrats voted against the pro-life version of the budget bill with the de-funding measure in it.

Had the Senate passed the measure, pro-abortion President Barack Obama indicated he would veto the Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government but cuts funding for the nation’s largest abortion business. He refused requests from pro-life Speaker John Boehner to include Planned Parenthood de-funding in a compromise spending measure.

Cantor also told attendees of the Family Research Council event today that House Republicans are pushing legislation next week to ensure taxpayer funding of abortions is not included in the Obamacare health care plan that Democrats approved.

“During the debate over ObamaCare, the President promised that no taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for abortions under the bill.  Unfortunately, this is not the way things have played out,” he said. “And that is why, next week….we’ll be bringing to the floor a bill to ensure that no tax payer dollars flow to healthcare plans that covers abortion and no health care worker has to participate in abortions against their will.”

The House will vote next week on legislation that would stop abortion funding in Obamacare, the national health care plan that contains no limits on taxpayer funding of abortions. H.R. 358, Protect Life Act, will likely come up for a vote on the House floor next Thursday after pro-life lawmakers fended off numerous hostile amendments from pro-abortion members of Congress during the committee markup. Capital Hill sources informed LifeNews yesterday that they expect pro-abortion lawmakers to offer many of those weakening amendments that would water down the bill on the House floor.

The Protect Life Act makes it clear that no funds authorized or appropriated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, may be used to pay for abortion or abortion coverage. It specifies that individual people or state or local governments must purchase a separate elective abortion rider or insurance coverage that includes elective abortion but only as long as that is done with private funds and not monies authorized by Obamacare.

The bill also specifies that insurance issuers may offer health plans that include elective abortion and may offer separate elective abortion riders, so long as they ensure PPACA funds are not used for premiums or administrative costs. The bill also clarifies that issuers who offer elective abortion coverage must also offer a qualified health benefits plan that is identical except that it does not cover elective abortion.

The pro-life measure also ensures that state laws “protecting conscience rights, restricting or prohibiting abortion or coverage or funding of abortion, or establishing procedural requirements on abortion” are not abrogated by Obamacare. It also makes it so any state or local governments receiving funding under Obamacare may not subject any health care entity to discrimination or require any health plan to subject any entity to discrimination on the basis that it refuses to undergo abortion training, refuses to require abortion training, refuses to perform or pay for abortions, or refuses to provide abortion referrals.