Pro-lifers and abortion activists both are watching U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin closely as he considers how to vote on bills about abortion and Planned Parenthood.
A Democrat from West Virginia, Manchin says he is pro-life, but his voting record is mixed. He has supported legislation to protect unborn babies from abortion after 20 weeks, but he also has opposed bills to defund the abortion chain Planned Parenthood. According to National Right to Life, Manchin has just a 33-percent pro-life voting record this session.
This week, the pro-abortion blog Rewire reported Manchin met with David Daleiden, the undercover journalist responsible for the videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby body parts.
Daleiden joined Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins recently to urge Manchin to support defunding efforts. Manchin was non-committal but asked Daleiden for more information, according to the report.
According to the pro-abortion blog:
They didn’t succeed in convincing Manchin to cut off Planned Parenthood from Medicaid reimbursements—at least, not yet.
“Well, no, he’s explaining,” Manchin said in characterizing whether Daleiden had been successful in that endeavor.
But Manchin is open to hearing more from the anti-abortion activist facing 15 felony charges for his role in a discredited smear campaign coordinated with GOP lawmakers against Planned Parenthood.
“I’m totally pro-life. But I’m also very, very, very concerned about women’s health care and the need for health care for women,” Manchin told Rewire in a Tuesday interview on Capitol Hill.
“So, it’s tough. Everybody wants you one way or the other, and I’m working with—trying to work with both sides. He’s getting me more information.”
Hawkins and Daleiden explained that investigations into Planned Parenthood and its handling of aborted baby body parts are on-going, according to the Students for Life blog. They left the meeting “hopeful that it’s possible that the Senator could change his mind.”
Manchin told the pro-abortion blog that he and his staff are looking into Daleiden’s undercover investigation and considering the overall situation.
Many pro-life groups have been calling out Manchin after he voted against a bill to overturn an Obama administration rule that basically forced states to fund Planned Parenthood.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser told the Washington Post this week that she also met with Manchin recently.
“With that Planned Parenthood vote, he put himself on our election map,” Dannenfelser told the Post.
However, she said Manchin did vote to defund Planned Parenthood in 2015 after the first of Daleiden’s videos first came out; and they hope he will reconsider his position in the future.
“We do not want to lose a pro-life senator, and we certainly would like to take him off our target list,” Dannenfelser said.
As LifeNews reported earlier this month, Manchin recently was seen posing with activists on both sides of the abortion debate. He took a picture with a pro-abortion activist holding a sign saying he stands with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion company. Later the senator stood with with a pro-life advocate holding a sign saying she opposes Planned Parenthood.
In a statement last week, National Right to Life told LifeNews:
In pro-life areas of the country, Democratic candidates must have pro-life votes in order to win, however they also must appease the pro-abortion masters of the Democratic Party. The most ridiculous evidence of this recently took place when West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin appeared in a picture holding a Planned Parenthood sign that read, “I stand with Planned Parenthood.” Manchin later appeared in a picture with a pro-life group holding a sign that read, “We don’t need Planned Parenthood.”
Manchin, who claims to be pro-life, has a 33% pro-life voting record in the 115th Congress. There are similar situations in other parts of the country where Democratic senators must have pro-life votes to win including Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, and North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. They will seek to get pro-life votes while trying please the pro-abortion masters of the Democratic Party.
Manchin need to pick a side and be concerned about choosing the wrong one.
“The pro-abortion side cannot match the infrastructure and grassroots base of National Right to Life and its 3,000 chapters and state affiliates, which can respond quickly anywhere in the country,” NRLC president Carol Tobias said. “With this latest litmus test for Democratic candidates, the Democratic Party will continue to lose elections.”