Photo credit: Martin Jacobsen (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: Martin Jacobsen (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Ten national pro-life leaders sent Republican members of Congress a warning about Planned Parenthood funding in the 2017 reconciliation bill – “it is well past time” to keep their campaign promises to defund Planned Parenthood.

The warning came in the form of a letter that was transmitted to Republicans and signed by signed by Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List, Penny Young Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America LAC, Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life, Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Lila Rose, President and Founder of Live Action, Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life, Paul Weber, President & CEO of Family Policy Alliance, Gary L. Bauer, President of American Values, and Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The letter reads:

This Republican Pro-life Congress made a promise to American voters to stop taxpayer funding for the largest abortion chain in the nation, Planned Parenthood. It is now well past time to deliver on that promise.

In the prior Congress, legislation to stop Medicaid funding to the abortion behemoth was sent to the President’s desk and vetoed by then-President Obama. Excited by this clear proof that a defunding bill could reach the Oval Office, the American people responded by sending President Trump, who pledged to sign legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, to the White House. However, eight months since his inauguration, the Congress has failed to send President Trump a bill redirecting Planned Parenthood funding to alternative providers.

While many important pro-life legislative initiatives face the hurdle of requiring a super majority to avoid a filibuster in the Senate, it only takes a simple majority to stop taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood through a Budget Reconciliation bill which cannot be filibustered. The pro-life majority that now controls both chambers of Congress and the White House must pass a reconciliation bill stopping the vast majority of federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Doing anything less brings into question whether this Congress can truly be called the Pro-life Congress. Rhetoric must be translated into law.

We urge you to revisit the FY2017 Reconciliation bill immediately and find consensus on a bill that takes Planned Parenthood off the federal Medicaid dole and offers women comprehensive alternatives. Whether that is a broad pro-life healthcare reform package or a narrower bill is up to the Congress to determine, but giving up is not why the voters sent pro-life Republicans to Congress. Should robust efforts on the FY2017 Reconciliation bill run out of time, then the fight to defund Planned Parenthood must move immediately to the FY2018 Reconciliation bill.

Let there be no mistake about it: Planned Parenthood is big abortion. A recent Charlotte Lozier Institute paper, Planned Parenthood: “Irreplaceable” and “Lifesaving”? found that Planned Parenthood dominates the abortion market carrying out over 35% of all abortions in America. This statistic stands in stark contrast to their roughly 1% market share of HIV tests and Pap tests.

Planned Parenthood self-reports taking the innocent lives of 328,348 unborn children last year and similar numbers in previous years. That is 900 lives snuffed out before their first breath every single day by a single taxpayer-funded abortion chain. This tragedy is compounded every day that passes with inaction.

The time for results is now. Lives depend on your leadership and action.

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