We have an opportunity to force President Obama to veto a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, and we’d be fools to squander it.
There are times where the pro-life community is willing to cut off its nose to spite its face, and all the while more babies are dying.
We can’t allow that to happen.
Let me set the stage. There have been a number of pro-life bills that have passed the overwhelmingly pro-life House of Representatives over the course of the Obama presidency. None have reached the President’s desk. Until recently, a majority of the Senate has been staunchly pro-abortion.
However, this has changed. A recent stand-alone bill defunding Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion business in America – of hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars overwhelmingly passed the House. And for the first time, it not only got a scheduled vote in the Senate (something that the prior Senate Majority Leader, [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ], never allowed to happen), but also was supported by a bipartisan majority in the Senate.
That’s right, 55 Senators publicly supported this bill. Yet, through the filibuster of a pro-abortion extremist minority in the Senate, the bill did not get the 60-vote threshold to receive a vote. (Under longstanding precedent a bill only needs a simple majority to pass but requires a supermajority of 60 votes to overcome a filibuster – to end debate – and actually receive a vote in the Senate.)
There have been several additional attempts at various legislative mechanisms to move this same basic legislation forward, and all of them for one reason or another have failed.
Fast forward to today. Last week the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and partially repeal pro-abortion ObamaCare. This time a special legislative mechanism was employed – reconciliation – that can be used to bypass a filibuster in the Senate.
If you’ll remember, it was this special budgetary maneuver that allowed the Senate to pass ObamaCare in the first place, even though Senator Scott Brown had just been elected, breaking the Left’s filibuster proof supermajority in the Senate.
The use of reconciliation to not only cut off hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars from funding an abortion business that has padded “their bottom line” by selling aborted babies’ body parts but also repeal key components of pro-abortion ObamaCare would be a massive victory.
As USA Today explained:
The House on Friday passed a budget bill that would dismantle key parts of Obamacare and strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood for a year.
House members voted 240-189 to pass the bill, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for all Americans to obtain health insurance and for employers to offer it to their workers. It also would end a tax on medical devices.
The budget reconciliation bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, even though it requires only a simple majority of 51 senators to pass it instead of the super-majority of 60 senators usually needed to approve major legislation.
As we know, the pro-life majority in the Senate is slim and shaky at best. In addition, there are some pro-life Senators who say this bill doesn’t go far enough.
But success in the political arena is incremental.
Is this a perfect bill? Of course not. Has leadership in the House and Senate been the most efficient or effective in moving pro-life legislation forward? Certainly not. Were there possibly more effective options out there? Quite possibly so.
But is this bill sitting in front of Congress and does it take America a step in the right direction? Absolutely.
That in and of itself should be reason enough to support this bill.
This reconciliation bill is our first opportunity to finally force President Obama to put his pen where his pro-abortion mouth is, requiring him to veto this commonsense legislation. Americans just simply shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortion any more than they should be forced to pay for pro-abortion health care. And this bill would address both.
For once, as pro-lifers, let’s not snatch defeat from the hands of victory. This is an opportunity to defend life that we cannot let pass us by. It’s time to defund Planned Parenthood.
Children are dying, and we’re paying for it. That must end.
Matthew Clark is Senior Counsel for Digital Advocacy with the ACLJ. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.