As Americans continue to learn more about the atrocities of Planned Parenthood, voters had the chance to hear from governors in the GOP debate who defunded Planned Parenthood in their state — and who believe, like us, that Congress should do the same. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called Cecile Richards’s group a “criminal enterprise,” implicated in violations of partial-birth abortion ban.
Together, it’s all helping to build pressure on Capitol Hill. In the second House hearing today, Chairman Joe Pitts’s Health Subcommittee took a deeper look at Planned Parenthood’s activities and the need to allow states to refuse Medicaid to any entity that violates the Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002, which passed unanimously in the Senate that same year. They also discussed possible violations of the Partial Birth Abortion ban passed in 2003 (which was later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court).
Over the next few days, the House will debate at least two bills taking aim at Planned Parenthood: one that defunds the organization for a year and redirects money to non-abortion health care clinics for women. Members will also consider whether or not to add criminal penalties to the Born Alive bill, which clarifies that babies born alive are, in fact, human beings worthy of protection. But just as the House Rules Committee agreed to move those bills to the floor for a vote tomorrow, the White House issued an “official” statement of policy warning that President Obama would veto both of these bills.
Yes, you heard that right: the President of the United States doesn’t think America should enforce a law that requires abortion clinics to provide the same standard of care to a live-born “unwanted” child as it would a wanted one. Instead, he doesn’t believe clinic operators should have to report these abuses — and in fact, believes they should be allowed to end the lives of these babies. The White House also insisted that the President would never agree to defund Planned Parenthood, which kills over 300,000 unborn children a year, and which has not been implicated in partial birth violations and even born-alive killing for organs.
Like a majority of Americans, FRC is demanding that Congress zero out Planned Parenthood’s funding on a must-pass piece of legislation, despite the objections of the extremist in the White House. And there are plenty of reasons why — not the least of which, libertarians should know, are financial. The Congressional Budget Office just announced this week that Rep. Diane Black’s (R-Tenn.) bill would actually save taxpayers about $235 million in fiscal year 2016. The votes on these bills tomorrow are important to build momentum, but we can’t allow members to pass it and then to wipe their hands of the issue. Congress should not only move these bills, but add them to the short-term budget resolution that goes to the Senate.
More than 20 Democratic senators supported the Born Alive bill in 2002. Will they follow in Obama’s footsteps and vote against defunding Planned Parenthood again even as most of them did in July? Will they now oppose protections for those babies who are actually and fully born? Establishment-type Republicans have claimed that adding these protections to a continuing resolution would shut down the government after September 30 if the Democrats don’t agree. But House Republicans have to show the American people that some things are so significant that you fight for them no matter what the risk.
We must not miss the significance and gravity of this moment. As a nation, we are without excuse in what we have facilitated with our funding of Planned Parenthood’s inhumane treatment of babies. If these were animals rather than children, cutting off government funding wouldn’t even be a question in this upside-down world. Now is the time for the people to speak, Congress to act, and the President to decide whether he wants the blood of innocent children on his hands. Please contact your representatives and ask them to support all efforts to put a measure that will defund Planned Parenthood on President Obama’s desk.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.