It's a Year Later and We Are Moving Backward
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2017-05-03

By Jim Sedlak

On January 8, 2016, the United States Congress passed a bill repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood for one year. 

On January 9, President Obama vetoed the bill. It was the first time both houses of Congress passed a Planned Parenthood defunding bill. Although we knew Obama would veto the bill, it was hailed as a victory and a forecast of what would come IF the American people elected Republicans to a majority of the House and Senate and also elected a Republican president.

It is now 16 months later. The Republicans have more of a majority in the House and Senate and they also have the presidency. They know that they have 51 votes in the Senate to pass a Planned Parenthood defunding bill. They know the president will sign it. Yet it appears they will not give the president a bill to sign.

They did pass a bill allowing states to decide whether or not to give Title X money to Planned Parenthood. Whoopi. If Planned Parenthood lost every penny it gets from Title X in the next year, the only monetary effect would be a decrease in its profits. The best estimates we have seen is that PP gets about $25 million a year from Title X. The last time it released data on its operations, Planned Parenthood said it had income in excess of expenditures (profits) of $58 million in that year.

The bill that went to Obama last year would have stripped Title XIX money from Planned Parenthood. That’s its Medicaid reimbursements, of which Planned Parenthood gets $400 million a year. Now, that is a bill that would take over 70 percent of taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood. That is a serious bill. However, while the minority Democratic Party is solid in making every member of its caucus oppose the bill, the majority Republicans can’t get their act together. They keep talking about defunding Planned Parenthood . . . and talking about defunding Planned Parenthood . . . and talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, but they won’t put a bill on the president’s desk.

Now comes the time for a continuing resolution to keep the government running until September—a great opportunity to remove funding from Planned Parenthood. What do they do? NOTHING! Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain that kills over 320,000 babies a year, keeps getting all its taxpayer funding for another four months. There was not even a fight over it! It was like . . . okay, don’t want contention . . . here you go Planned Parenthood. Here is your $1.5 million a day in taxpayer funding for the next 120 or so days. Another $180 million to ruin the lives of teenagers and kill babies.

If the members of Congress were sincere in the bill they passed last year and sent to Obama, why don’t they pass the exact same bill and send it to Trump? Maybe they weren’t serious last year. Maybe it was all a show. Maybe they knew Obama would veto it, so they just passed a bill to get the pro-lifers excited so they would vote Republican. I sure hope not, but one starts to wonder.

There was a lot of hoopla last week about Trump’s 100 days. Looking at it from a pro-life perspective, there were a lot of good things that happened in those 100 days. Pro-lifers are in important positions in the federal government; the new Supreme Court justice appears to be one of us; and when the Title X bill was moving through the Senate, Vice President Pence rushed to the Senate twice in one day to provide the winning vote. President Trump then signed the bill.

But is that all we are going to get? Where is the bill like the one we had in 2016? Where is the investigation of Planned Parenthood that was supposed to happen after both the Senate and House committees referred it to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution? Why didn’t President Trump insist that the continuing resolution NOT include funds for Planned Parenthood? Obama sure wasn’t shy in demanding money for PP or he would shut down the government!

It is time for our political leaders to understand that the honeymoon is over. The funding of Planned Parenthood was a major element in the 2016 elections. There are many who understand that Hillary’s support for abortion and for Planned Parenthood was a major reason the American people did not vote for her. It’s past the time when we should have shut off the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood kills 888 babies a day. That means the continuing resolution, if left to stand, has condemned 106,560 babies to death at the hands of Planned Parenthood. Every day that Planned Parenthood is funded with taxpayer money means the deaths of many generations of Americans. How can we make America great again if we keep killing off our future generations?

Mr. President, Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, 88,800 babies have died at Planned Parenthood facilities during the last 100 days. Enough is enough. Do something about the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Do it now!

Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League and founder of STOPP International. He has been fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.