Pro-life House members step up calls for Planned Parenthood de-funding
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life lawmakers in the House are becoming increasingly discontent with leaders’ sidelining of cuts to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America amid negotiations for a final budget bill.
According to The Hill, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee said he was “very concerned” that the pro-life amendments have so far been ignored in two stopgap budget bills, one of which was introduced in the House Friday to extend the deadline of negotiations to April 8.
“There’s nothing wrong with making first downs, but at some point we need to get to the end zone,” said Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Jordan stopped short of vowing to vote against a stopgap measure that lacked the pro-life gains of the House’s original Continuing Resolution, which included not only a cut to Planned Parenthood, but also a cut to the United Nations Population Fund, the end to taxpayer-funded abortions in the District of Columbia, and the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy. The measure, H.R. 1, also threw down the gauntlet to the president’s abortion-expanding health care reform law by gutting its funding on several fronts.
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), a leading pro-life force in the House of Representatives, indicated that a growing number of conservative House members were uneasy about the continuation of Planned Parenthood and health law funding in the temporary bills.
“We need to pass what we think should be in it, send it over to the Senate and let them deal with it,” Pitts said, who answered when prompted that “more and more” lawmakers agreed with his position.
Family Research Council Tony Perkins insisted that Republican leaders should drive a harder bargain on hard-won pro-life gains sooner than later. “Apparently, some Republicans are worried that the bill will get hung up by the language to defund Planned Parenthood and D.C. abortions. All the more reason to have this battle now and move on!” said Perkins on Friday.
Although he has previously condemned the pared-down GOP bill only in broader terms, President Obama on Friday took a more direct shot at efforts de-fund abortion.
“If Republicans are interested in social issues that they want to promote, they should put a bill on the floor of the House and promote it, have an up-or-down vote, send it over to the Senate,” he said, as noted by The Hill. “But don’t try to use the budget as a way to promote a political or ideological agenda.”