Pro-Life Republican Lindsey Graham Will Skip Planned Parenthood Vote to Campaign for President

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 3, 2015   |   2:25PM   |   Washington, DC

The Senate will vote early Monday evening on a new bill has been introduced that will totally de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The legislation follows four shocking videos that have caught Planned Parenthood doctors discussing and arranging the sale of body parts of aborted babies.

Because two Republicans have said they support Planned Parenthood funding and Democrats like Senator Bob Casey, who claims to be pro-life, are not willing to support the bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, Democrats are expected to sustain their filibuster and prevent passage of the de-funding measure.

But when the chamber ultimate casts a vote on the Democrats’ filibuster of the pro-life bill, pro-life Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina will not be there. Instead he will be in New Hampshire campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination attending a presidential forum in person..

Unlike Graham, three other pro-life Republican presidential hopefuls will participate via a television remote so they can be ont he Senate floor to vote for de-funding Planned Parenthood. As National Review reports:

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

At that time, the four Republican senators who are running for president were expected to be in New Hampshire for the Voters First Presidential Forum hosted by the New Hampshire Union Leader, set to take place from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M. on Monday, which put the senators who are also presidential candidates in a bind.

I’m told that Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul will participate in the forum remotely from C-SPAN’s Washington, D.C. studio. A spokeswoman for Lindsey Graham says the senator will be in New Hampshire for the event.

The timing of the vote could not be moved to avoid the forum because Democrats are filibustering the bill and will not work together with pro-life Republicans on setting the vote and moving the de-funding bill forward.

There is no doubt that Graham is pro-life — he is the prime sponsor of the Pain Capable bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks and was the lead sponsor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act to protect women and unborn children killed in violent crimes and provide for justice for both victims. Although he holds a 100% pro-life voting record, his record will be tarnished somewhat by his non-attendance.

Graham is almost certain to say that the bill is in jeopardy anyway, because Republicans don’t likely have the 60 votes needed to overcome the Democrats’ filibuster but his decision not to vote almost makes it a near-certainty that the the filibuster will not be beaten today when the Senate votes.

Leading pro-life groups are already pushing back against his decision to skip the vote:

News of Graham’s absence comes at the same time Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he will vote to strike taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Previously, the Senate rejected, on a 44-56 vote, the House-approved long-term budget bill that contains 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. That happened in part because three Democrats who claim to be pro-life, including Manchin, voted to continue funding the nation’s biggest abortion business.