March 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan says Republicans will defund Planned Parenthood via a budget reconciliation bill even though the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) that would have defunded the abortion giant failed.
“We think reconciliation is the tool, because that gets it in law. Reconciliation is the way to go,” he said at a press conference today.
If it passed the U.S. House, the bill would only need 51 votes in the U.S. Senate.
Although the ACHA would have defunded Planned Parenthood, it's unclear whether other abortion funding restrictions in it would have survived strict Senate rules.
“We agree with Speaker Ryan that reconciliation is the best way to address taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “Before members of Congress leave town for spring break, they must enact a new budget reconciliation bill that redirects the abortion giant’s federal funding to community health centers.”
Republicans have two weeks to do this; the Congressional “spring break” begins April 11.
“Regardless of healthcare, Congress has the votes to get this done,” Dannenfelser explained. “We urge all Republicans, including leadership, House Freedom Caucus, and the Tuesday Group to unify behind this plan, which would be a win for women’s health.”
The conservative House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group opposed the ACHA.
Pro-life advocates say Congress should redirect the nearly half a billion tax dollars that Planned Parenthood receives every year to federally-qualified community health centers. Although tax dollars don't directly fund abortions at Planned Parenthood, they can be used for Medicaid reimbursements. Pro-life advocates point out that money is fungible and Planned Parenthood can still spend taxpayer money on other things that strengthen its business model.
“Community health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by at least 20 to 1 and offer a full range of primary healthcare, unlike Planned Parenthood,” said Dannenfelser.
“You promised to defund Planned Parenthood,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a video message after Republicans pulled the AHCA from the floor because they didn't have enough votes to pass it. “We plan to hold you to that. No matter how you have to do it, we expect you to stand up to their lobbyists. … Don't betray us. Keep your promise!”
— Students for Life (@Students4LifeHQ) March 24, 2017
Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood refused a deal from the Trump administration to keep and possibly increase its federal funding in exchange for ceasing abortions.
This was “not a deal that we will ever accept,” Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens said.
Planned Parenthood claims abortion is “only three percent” of its business. According to its own annual report, it commits more than 300,000 abortions annually. Ninety-four percent of its pregnancy services are abortion.
A Congressional panel made numerous criminal referrals of Planned Parenthood after its baby body parts trafficking scandal.