Late last week, in yet another failure to fulfill its campaign promise, a majority of the U.S. Senate failed to defund Planned Parenthood.
An amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) would have defunded Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 45-48, well short of the 60 votes it needed invoke cloture and pass the measure.
While we are grateful for Senator Paul’s attempt to keep the issue of life front and center in the national debate, we continue to be appalled by the abject hypocrisy of some in the Senate who claim to be pro-life yet refuse to defund the largest abortion provider in America. This amendment would have been attached to the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act and would have redirected taxpayer money away from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
We are disappointed that the majority of the U.S. Senate that claims to be pro-life has not kept its promise to defund Planned Parenthood. At the ACLJ, we will continue to fight for life, and a critical step in that fight is eliminating taxpayer funding of the abortion industry. A key part of this effort is informing you how individual Senators vote on the relevant measures.
For starters, there were six Senators absent for yesterday’s vote: Bob Corker (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Patty Murray (D-WA).
Next, two Senators from the party with an avowedly pro-life platform voted “No” on this amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. They were Sen’s Collins (R-ME) and Murkowski (R-AK).
Several Senators who have actively campaigned on a pro-life agenda also voted against the amendment and in favor of taxpayer funding for the abortion industry. For example, in 2006, during his U.S. House race, Joe Donnelly (D-IN) said, “In keeping with my personal faith and family values, I have consistently opposed abortion and will continue to do so in Congress. I believe that pro-life means promoting life at every stage, from conception until natural death. I will always vote according to my faith and my conscience on life issues.” Perhaps we should remind Senator Donnelly that Planned Parenthood is the number one provider of abortions in the United States of America.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) are two additional examples of politicians who have held themselves out as pro-life, but voted in support of the abortion industry last week.
Their voting records do not match their campaign rhetoric. These Senators have some explaining to do to their constituents, many of whom are pro-life and support the defunding of the abortion industry. We believe that these Senators will find that the extremist pro-abortion lobby does not represent a majority of their constituencies.
At the ACLJ, we truly believe that it is incumbent on the American people to elect federal officials who are committed to standing on the side of life. Campaign rhetoric is cheap; constituents expect a voting record that matches the rhetoric.
We also know there is a way that Planned Parenthood can be defunded – with only 50 votes. This can be achieved through a process known as Budget Reconciliation. It is the same process by which the U.S. Senate recently attempted to repeal Obamacare. So while last week’s vote would have required 60 votes to be approved, it can be accomplished with as few as two additional pro-life Senators or by forcing Senators who claim to be pro-life to VOTE pro-life.
We are currently engaged in two other efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. We have recently filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court in a critical case that could allow states to defund the abortion giant. The other is a new Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that would defund upwards of $60 million of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer dollars – all of Title X.
Thanks to your help, we will continue to advocate for the unborn in the halls of Congress. Stand with us by signing our petition in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood.
We’re taking on Big Abortion in federal court and fighting in Congress to cut off its taxpayer funds. Support our pro-life work today.
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