Though the national pro-life community says newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan is committed to its cause, Ryan is warning that he doubts Planned Parenthood can be defunded.
Observing that President Obama is pro-abortion and the Senate’s process has been “difficult,” Ryan said on CNN’s State of the Union, “I think we need to be very clear about what we can and cannot achieve and not set expectations that we know we can’t reach given the constraints of the Constitution.”
“I don’t think Planned Parenthood should get a red cent from the taxpayer; I’ve always believed that, even before these disgusting videos came out,” Ryan continued. “But I believe we need to do our oversight. We’re just beginning to start a committee to investigate Planned Parenthood. That’s important. So the special committee on Planned Parenthood, I think, should be in the driver’s seat overseeing this process.”
When pressed by host Dana Bash, “Will you defund Planned Parenthood?” Ryan replied:
This is what I mean when I say being an effective opposition party. I think being an effective opposition party means being honest with people upfront about what it is we can and cannot achieve. But we also have to push issues where we can push issues, we have to speak truth to power. We have a president that isn’t willing to listen, that isn’t going to sign lots of our bills into law, we have a Senate that has a very difficult process when it comes to actually getting bills voted on, so knowing that we have those constraints, we have to operate within those constraints.
Last week, former House Speaker John Boehner announced the members of the Select House Panel that will be investigating the abortion business as part of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The members of the panel are:
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), chairman
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI)
Rep. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rep. Mia Love (R-UT)
“Paul Ryan is one of the best communicators we have in the fight to defend life,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List in a statement following Ryan’s election as speaker. “His clarity, compassion and thoughtfulness on this issue will serve him well as he takes on the challenge of Speakership.”
“Moreover, Ryan’s selection of David Hoppe as Chief of Staff is early evidence that Ryan’s policy team is committed, as he is, to protecting women and unborn children from the horrors of abortion as well as defending conscience rights,” Dannenfelser continued. “Personnel is policy and we are encouraged to see Speaker Ryan surround himself with strong pro-life advocates.”
Americans United for Life president Dr. Charmaine Yoest congratulated Ryan on his election to the Speakership, referring to him as “a pro-life leader who understands that common sense legislation respecting life is an essential part of the work of Congress.”
Speaker Ryan is well-known for his consistent pro-life values exhibited in important votes for life. His record includes voting to support the Mexico City Policy that prevents U.S. tax dollars from paying for abortions in other countries; to protect young girls by prohibiting people from taking them across state lines to obtain abortions; to ban human cloning; to repeal the landmark anti-life law known as Obamacare; to protect unborn children from abortion at 5 months of pregnancy when they can feel pain and may be able to live outside the womb; to redirect tax dollars away from the nation’s leading abortionist chain Planned Parenthood toward true, full-service health care facilities; and in support of banning the gruesome partial-birth abortions dangerous to women and their unborn children.
“Abortion is dangerous for women and destroys their unborn children,” observed Yoest. “And we look forward to working with the Speaker on laws that protect women and children from abortion industry abuses, on laws that show respect for people’s Constitutional freedom of conscience, and on the investigations of Planned Parenthood, the abortion giant that is growing rich off taxpayer dollars while cutting back on real healthcare that respects life.”