Tony Perkins / September 18, 2015

Life of the Party…

[Wednesday] night wasn’t just the second GOP presidential debate — it was the second round of strong performances by Republicans on the sanctity of human life and the importance of religious liberty. Unfortunately, under the same bifurcated format as Cleveland’s, some of the field’s best torchbearers on the issues were relegated to a smaller forum earlier in the evening. Personally, I think everyone would have been better served had the stage been set for *all* of the candidates.

[Wednesday] night wasn’t just the second GOP presidential debate — it was the second round of strong performances by Republicans on the sanctity of human life and the importance of religious liberty. Unfortunately, under the same bifurcated format as Cleveland’s, some of the field’s best torchbearers on the issues were relegated to a smaller forum earlier in the evening. Personally, I think everyone would have been better served had the stage been set for all of the candidates.

While Congress weighs what to do about Planned Parenthood’s trafficking ring for baby body parts, the Republican hopefuls gave them plenty of advice — including: defund it! Despite the left-leaning media’s effort to dismiss the influential role that social conservatives continue to play in Republican presidential politics, it was evident that the vast majority of the candidates don’t agree with them as they aggressively appealed to social conservative voters with their commitment to life and religious liberty. The only real outliers on those core values issues were Governors George Pataki (N.Y.) and John Kasich (Ohio) — both of whom have funded Planned Parenthood.

One of the best lines of the night came from Carly Fiorina when she addressed both the ill-conceived deal with Iran and Planned Parenthood’s baby trafficking ring. “I would like to link these two issues, both of which are incredibly important, Iran and Planned Parenthood. One has something to do with the defense of the security of this nation. The other has something to do with the defense of the character of this nation… [In regard to] Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.”

In the earlier debate, Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) challenged the GOP and its unwillingness to truly fight for what they say they believe in, saying: “I wish Republicans in D.C. had half the fight of the Senate Democrats to get rid of ObamaCare, to defund Planned Parenthood. If we can’t defund Planned Parenthood now, if we can’t stand for innocent human life after these barbaric videos, it is time to be done with the Republican Party.” Trust me, there are a lot of voters who share Gov. Jindal’s view.

Don’t Let Dems Kill Born-Alive!

As Americans continue to learn more about the atrocities of Planned Parenthood, voters had the chance to hear from governors in the GOP debate who defunded Planned Parenthood in their state — and who believe, like us, that Congress should do the same. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called Cecile Richards’s group a “criminal enterprise,” implicated in violations of partial-birth abortion ban.

Together, it’s all helping to build pressure on Capitol Hill. In the second House hearing [yesterday], Chairman Joe Pitts’s Health Subcommittee took a deeper look at Planned Parenthood’s activities and the need to allow states to refuse Medicaid to any entity that violates the Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002, which passed unanimously in the Senate that same year. They also discussed possible violations of the Partial Birth Abortion ban passed in 2003 (which was later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court).

Over the next few days, the House will debate at least two bills taking aim at Planned Parenthood: one that defunds the organization for a year and redirects money to non-abortion health care clinics for women. Members will also consider whether or not to add criminal penalties to the Born Alive bill, which clarifies that babies born alive are, in fact, human beings worthy of protection. But just as the House Rules Committee agreed to move those bills to the floor for a vote tomorrow, the White House issued an “official” statement of policy warning that President Obama would veto both of these bills.

Yes, you heard that right: the President of the United States doesn’t think America should enforce a law that requires abortion clinics to provide the same standard of care to a live-born “unwanted” child as it would a wanted one. Instead, he doesn’t believe clinic operators should have to report these abuses — and in fact, believes they should be allowed to end the lives of these babies. The White House also insisted that the President would never agree to defund Planned Parenthood, which kills over 300,000 unborn children a year, and which has not been implicated in partial birth violations and even born-alive killing for organs.

Like a majority of Americans, FRC is demanding that Congress zero out Planned Parenthood’s funding on a must-pass piece of legislation, despite the objections of the extremist in the White House. And there are plenty of reasons why — not the least of which, libertarians should know, are financial. The Congressional Budget Office just announced this week that Rep. Diane Black’s (R-Tenn.) bill would actually save taxpayers about $235 million in fiscal year 2016. The votes on these bills [today] are important to build momentum, but we can’t allow members to pass it and then to wipe their hands of the issue. Congress should not only move these bills, but add them to the short-term budget resolution that goes to the Senate.

More than 20 Democratic senators supported the Born Alive bill in 2002. Will they follow in Obama’s footsteps and vote against defunding Planned Parenthood again even as most of them did in July? Will they now oppose protections for those babies who are actually and fully born? Establishment-type Republicans have claimed that adding these protections to a continuing resolution would shut down the government after September 30 if the Democrats don’t agree. But House Republicans have to show the American people that some things are so significant that you fight for them no matter what the risk.

We must not miss the significance and gravity of this moment. As a nation, we are without excuse in what we have facilitated with our funding of Planned Parenthood’s inhumane treatment of babies. If these were animals rather than children, cutting off government funding wouldn’t even be a question in this upside-down world. Now is the time for the people to speak, Congress to act, and the President to decide whether he wants the blood of innocent children on his hands. Please contact your representatives and ask them to support all efforts to put a measure that will defund Planned Parenthood on President Obama’s desk.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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