National pro-life leaders are calling on Congress to finally eliminate Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding and redirect it to other community health centers in another reconciliation bill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan placed the provision to defund the abortion giant in the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which failed to fully repeal Obamacare and, therefore, did not gain consensus. Now, the pro-life leaders want Republicans and President Donald Trump to act immediately to ensure Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding is eliminated in another way.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), called on Congress to immediately enact a new reconciliation bill.
“There are no excuses for inaction,” she said in a statement.
“The collapse of the American Health Care Act on Friday only serves to intensify the pro-life movement’s efforts to redirect taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood, America’s biggest seller of abortions at a rate of more than 300,000 per year,” Dannenfelser added. “We will not flinch.”
The pro-life leader says community health centers that – unlike Planned Parenthood – provide a full range of comprehensive health services, outnumber the abortion chain’s clinics by at least by 20 to 1.
According to SBA List, “The proposal to redirect taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood would result in a $422 million increase in federal funding for community health care centers,” which currently serve at least 24.3 million people.
“SBA List calls on the pro-life Congress and the pro-life president to immediately enact a new reconciliation bill that redirects Planned Parenthood’s funding to community health centers,” Dannenfelser continues. “The language to do so has cleared any procedural hurdles and Congress has the votes to get it done.”
Lila Rose’s organization – Live Action – has challenged Planned Parenthood’s claims that it provides mammograms and prenatal care – claims, Rose says, it uses to demand taxpayer funding, even though its main purpose is to provide abortions.
Rose, Live Action’s president, said in a statement:
According to its own annual reports, Planned Parenthood does less than one percent of all Pap tests in the United States, less than two percent of all clinical breast exams, zero mammograms, and virtually no prenatal care, yet it does 34.9 percent of all U.S. abortions, killing over 320,000 preborn children every year. Former Planned Parenthood managers have provided testimonials about how the abortion giant uses quotas to push cash-making abortions, doesn’t provide the health care it claims it does, and “treats women like cattle.”
“Congress and President Trump must act now to use the current budget reconciliation bill to end the forced taxpayer funding of abortion giant Planned Parenthood and end the use of Obamacare subsidies to buy health insurance that pays for abortions,” Rose says. “There is no more time for delay. Every day Congress fails to redirect tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood, the abortion chain gets another $1.5 million from taxpayers to keep its doors open and kill 887 more preborn children. “
At the National Pulse, Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project, writes that Planned Parenthood should still be defunded, even though the provision to do so was originally in a failed healthcare bill.
“If the AHCA is dead, why not press forward with the Planned Parenthood part of the AHCA as its own bill via the reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority in the Senate to pass?” Cannon asks. “Why not move on from the health care failure by getting this done and giving the pro-life base something to cheer about?’
However, Cannon also observes Republicans must act quickly:
This must be done sooner rather than later with the continuing resolution deadline coming up at the end of April … should Republicans fail to use the reconciliation process to divert funding away from Planned Parenthood, they would be forced into an even more difficult position by needing 60 votes to get it done via normal Senate budget rules. And that, my friends, is just not going to happen. Democrats will be more than happy to “resist” and shut down the government in order to protect their favorite abortion provider.
Two problems would likely interfere in the Senate, even when the reconciliation procedure is used, and those are Republican Sens. Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK). Both senators have stood with Democrats to keep Planned Parenthood funded and have repeated that this year they would not vote to redirect the organization’s taxpayer funding to other community health centers that do not provide abortions.
Cannon says that even if Collins and Murkowski vote against a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, “a number of Democrats are likely to support it, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and even if the bill receives no Democrat support, Vice President Pence could break a 50-50 tie to send the bill to the President’s desk.”
The decision by Collins and Murkowski to support Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding over an increase in funding for other community health centers in their states appears curious at best.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute reveals only four Planned Parenthood clinics exist in Collins’ state of Maine – all along the southwestern border – while 172 community healthcare centers that provide more comprehensive care are available throughout the entire state.
Only four Planned Parenthood clinics exist, as well, in Murkowski’s state of Alaska, while 165 community healthcare centers are spread throughout that state.
“We have one chance to get this done this year,” Cannon concludes. “It has to happen via the reconciliation process. And it has to happen now. The opportunity is there as long as the appetite is also.”