“Pro-Life Democrats” Joe Manchin and Bob Casey Betray Pro-Life Americans, Vote for Abortion Funding

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 8, 2021   |   1:13PM   |   Washington, DC

Two pro-life Democrat senators voted yes on the COVID-19 relief bill over the weekend even though it will force taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, and Bob Casey Jr., of Pennsylvania, did join Republicans in voting in favor of an amendment to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions in the $1.9 trillion spending bill. But the amendment failed, and both Democrats ultimately voted with their party to pass the overall spending package.

Both Manchin and Casey describe themselves as pro-life Democrats, but they have mixed voting records on the issue. According to the National Right to Life Committee, Manchin’s pro-life voting record is 63 percent while Casey’s is 39 percent.

After the bill passed Saturday, Casey celebrated the news on Twitter, writing: “The American Rescue Plan wouldn’t have passed without a Democratic Majority in the Senate. Always vote like your life depends on it.”

But now, because of that Democrat majority and its allegiance to the billion-dollar abortion industry, more unborn babies’ lives are at risk and the vast majority of Americans who oppose taxpayer-funded abortions will be forced to pay for them.

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Penny Young Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, noticed the betrayal and condemned it in an email to LifeNews.com.

“Democrat Senators Joe Manchin, Bob Casey, and Tim Kaine voted for an amendment to restore the Hyde Amendment protections to prevent any of the $1.9 trillion from paying for abortion on demand. The amendment failed to reach the sixty votes needed for passage. These same members then voted for passage of the final bill, willing to allow billions of dollars in new Obamacare funding to pay for an abortion for any reason,” she said.

“Sens. Manchin, Casey, and Kaine care more about $1,400 checks in the mail than the billions of dollars that can now be spent to destroy innocent pre-born babies. Shame on them and the entire Democrat party,” Nance said.

The “American Rescue Plan” is described as the the largest expansion of abortion funding since Obamacare.

The Senate voted 50-49 for the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, which spends only about 9 percent on COVID relief. Meanwhile, tens of millions of dollars, perhaps more, could fund the killing of unborn babies in abortions and the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood. Every Senate Republican, except for Sen. Dan Sullivan, of Alaska, who did not vote, voted against the bill while every Democrat voted for it.

The $350 billion state bailout funds are particularly problematic because the bill does not prevent states and localities from using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. Under the current guidelines, liberal states like New York and California can funnel millions to abortion giants like Planned Parenthood if they choose.

The pro-life group SBA List wrote to lawmakers ahead of the vote urging them to adopt pro-life amendments to curb abortion funding.

“While prior bipartisan COVID relief packages have included Hyde [Amendment] protections on funding streams that fall outside of existing limits on abortion funding, this bill departs from the status quo by leaving funds open to use for abortion. COVID relief money should be used for life-affirming purposes… we strongly support and will score in favor of amendments to mitigate the funding of abortion, abortion coverage, or abortion providers,” the pro-life group wrote.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding for most abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs. Until recently, it received strong bipartisan support in Congress, and still has the support of most Americans.

Fortunately one of the abortion funding provisions was removed from the bill prior to the vote. Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky, forced Democrats to remove a pro-abortion provision that would have allowed Planned Parenthood abortion facilities to receive free money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Polls consistently show most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions, including many Democrat voters. These include recent polls from Marist and Harvard University/Politico. According to Marist, six in 10 Americans (60 percent) oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, while the Harvard poll found that 58 percent oppose it.

What’s more, research suggests low-income individuals do not want taxpayer-funded abortions. According to the Harvard/Politico poll, voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of ending the Hyde Amendment (45 percent in favor), while those who make $25,000 or less were strongly against it (24 percent in favor). In other words, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion do not want it.

The Hyde Amendment has been in place since 1976 and, until recently, had strong bipartisan support in Congress. It has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies from abortions, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.