Anti-Planned Parenthood coalition warns shaky House GOP: don’t back down
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After passing a stopgap budget bill on Tuesday that failed to include cuts to Planned Parenthood, the House GOP is coming under increasing pressure over the issue. Pro-life leaders are urging the GOP not to put the controversial amendment to defund the abortion giant on the chopping block in an effort to strike a compromise with the Democrat-led Senate in order to pass a final budget bill.
Pro-lifers have expressed alarm after House Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) failed to rule out scrapping the amendment Monday when asked by CNSNews.com whether the de-funding language was “non-negotiable.”
Cantor’s press secretary later told CNSNews: “The House has already made it very clear that we do not support tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood funding and the Pence amendment to accomplish this limitation was approved with bipartisan support in the seven-month CR [Continuing Resolution]. As Eric said, we now need to see where the Senate stands on this and other big issues.”
Ever since the House last month passed a draft continuing resolution that specifically blocked all federal funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the national abortion lobby has been in high gear to ensure that the amendment doesn’t survive in the final bill. Planned Parenthood and the Susan B. Anthony List have recently launched dueling advertising campaigns against and for the bill.
PPFA President Cecile Richards has also made the rounds on various media outlets condemning the move by pro-life “extremists” and urging more supporters to sign an open letter to Congress on behalf of the abortion giant. However, according to The Hill, only a “handful” of Senate Democrats have publicly vowed support for Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, Congress agreed Tuesday to a stopgap budget measure, which lacked the Pence amendment to defund Planned Parenthood, to keep the government afloat while the final budget bill is hashed out between the two chambers.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told pro-lifers on a webcast hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List last night that she voted against the stopgap bill because it lacked both the Planned Parenthood cuts as well as language de-funding the abortion-expanding health care reform law.
“Abortion is the watershed issue of our time. We shouldn’t have one red cent go for Planned Parenthood,” declared the Congresswoman, who said she was ready to fight “eyeball-to-eyeball” over the Pence amendment. “At some point you have to have a knock down, drag down fight. This is it.”
In a letter dated March 1, members of the Expose Planned Parenthood Coalition strongly urged House Majority Leader John Boehner not to let the amendment, introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), slip.
“Planned Parenthood fits with the taxpayer’s desire to slash government funding for organizations that are one, capable of operating on their own with private funding and two, have serious questions about their internal oversight and compliance with the law,” wrote the pro-life leaders.
“In our view, to do anything less would be to abandon the best interests of women, children, and taxpayers.”
Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life warned Wednesday that possibly one of the greatest pro-life gains in recent memory is dangerously on the line as “dozens” of pro-abortion lobbyists are walking the halls of the Senate, counting votes.
“The pro-abortion lobby is moving perilously close to defeating the Pence Amendment in the Senate,” wrote Yoest in an email to supporters. “Our investment in life – all your hard work – is now on the line.”