- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2017

Pro-life groups are taking a swing at congressional Republicans for agreeing to a government-spending bill that continues to fund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, called the proposed legislation “beyond frustrating,” given the electoral gains Republicans made in November running on a pro-life platform.

“The Republican Party is the only party with an anti-abortion platform and whose candidates ran specifically on the promise to defund Planned Parenthood, yet, here we are, watching them pass a bill that funds Planned Parenthood even though they control the House, Senate, and White House,” Ms. Hawkins said in a statement.

In order to avert a looming government shutdown, Capitol Hill negotiators struck a deal Sunday night on a $1 trillion spending bill that will continue to fund the government through September.

A vote on the legislation is expected this week.

The spending bill does not cut funding for Planned Parenthood, which receives more than $500 million from taxpayers annually.

President Trump and congressional Republicans campaigned on the promise to defund Planned Parenthood during the general election. Party leaders have said a provision to defund the abortion provider will be included in the Obamacare repeal bill.

Even so, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, called the inability to defund Planned Parenthood through the spending bill “incredibly disappointing.”

“This makes it imperative that Republicans also move quickly on a reconciliation bill that redirects the abortion giant’s funding to community health centers,” Ms. Dannenfelser said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called the spending bill, which does not include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, a win for Democrats.

“Early on in this debate, Democrats clearly laid out our principles,” Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said in a statement. “At the end of the day, this is an agreement that reflects those principles.

A 2015 Robert Morris University Polling Institute survey shows 53 percent of Americans support redirecting Planned Parenthood’s funding to federally accredited health centers that do not perform abortions. Just 32 percent oppose such a measure.

Every dollar Planned Parenthood receives from taxpayers contributes to their ability to perform abortions, Ms. Hawkins said.

“More innocent lives will be lost at the hands of Planned Parenthood because of broken promises,” she said.

 


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