By Tony Perkins
Apparently, Senate Democrats would rather yield to human trafficking than put a stop to taxpayer-funded abortion! Two weeks after passing a unanimously out of committee, Democrats are suddenly picking a fight on language that’s been in the measure since day one.
This time, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) party didn’t pass the bill to find out what’s in it — but they got close. Obviously, a number of Democrats still think reading legislation is overrated, even at a manageable 68 pages. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who like a growing number of leaders, wants to end one of the greatest human rights crises of our time, was stunned earlier this week when his colleagues on the other side of the aisle suddenly — and vehemently — objected to the proposal’s text.
Like most spending bills, Cornyn’s Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act included routine language that bans taxpayer-funded abortions. For almost four decades, it’s been standard U.S. policy, through the Hyde Amendment, that taxpayer dollars not be used to kill innocent unborn children.
That must be news to Democrats, who exploded in outrage a full two weeks after they voted the bill out of committee. “The idea that there’s been some sort of ambush is just preposterous, it’s just not credible,” Sen. Cornyn said from the Senate floor. “They object to language that has been the law of the land for 39 years… You think (Democrats) didn’t read the bill before they put their name on it?” Cornyn asked. “Our friends across the aisle have some outstanding staff. … I don’t believe that they would have missed a reference in this legislation.”
On Monday, the Left’s Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) fired off an angry letter expressing her shock that conservatives had “snuck” the provision onto the bill. By Wednesday, she had apologized. As Republicans said, it had been there all along. And it isn’t as if Democrats didn’t notice it. In the Judiciary Committee, they tried to amend the same pages the Hyde Amendment was on! “What do you want me to tell you?” Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters. “We missed it!”
Still, liberal members insist, banning abortion funding is “antithetical” to human trafficking. Hardly. This bill was created to rescue victims — not create more. If Planned Parenthood and other groups are so determined to give women access to abortion, why don’t they donate them? Simple. Because they want to be paid — by you. Now, instead of rallying around a common goal, the Left has taken a consensus issue and turned it into a political hot potato.
Unfortunately for thousands of suffering girls, the President’s party is willing to sacrifice any support on the altar of radical abortion policy. A measure that was supposed to free women from bondage is itself being taken hostage by a party too obsessed with abortion to care about the hurting. For now, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still determined to find 60 “yeas” by next Tuesday’s cloture vote. Help nudge your senators in the right direction. Contact your leaders and ask them to keep the Hyde status quo!
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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