House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood Over Abortion

Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in government grants and contracts between 2008 and 2009.

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Late Friday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to add to the continuing resolution that would fund the U.S. government through September 2011 a measure that “zeros out” federal funding for Planned Parenthood which, by some estimates, is the nation’s largest provider of abortion.

According to its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in government grants and contracts between 2008 and 2009 while, over the same period, performing 324,008 abortions, the most it has ever done.

The vote to adopt the amendment, offered by Republican Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, is a major victory for the prolife movement, which has been battling legalized abortion ever since the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion-on-demand the law of the land in 1973. [See who donates to Mike Pence.]

Much of the credit goes to the Susan B. Anthony List, a small but effective organization that, under the leadership of Marjorie Dannenfelser, provides financial backing to prolife women running for the U.S. House and Senate and other offices. Its record of accomplishment is remarkable, given that it spent only $11 million during the 2010 midterm election cycle. Yet it managed to change dramatically the political landscape in Congress.

Overall, says the group, the SBA List was involved in 90 races, compiling a record of 62 wins--including the defeat of 15 out of 20 so-called “pro-life Democrats” who backed the inclusion of abortion-funding in President Obama’s healthcare legislation.

It is not at all clear that the effort to defund Planned Parenthood will be backed by the U.S. Senate--which will almost certainly entertain at least one amendment to restore its funding when it takes up the funding bill. Dannenfelser promised to carry the fight forward, saying, “Ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is a non-negotiable.” [Check out a roundup of this month's political cartoons.]

“It must be a top priority in the Continuing Resolution battle. Taxpayers have strongly rejected their complicity with Planned Parenthood in the sex trafficking of underage girls,” she continued. "Prolife America demands that our leaders in the Senate step up and take on this fight and that the House leadership holds its ground. Americans have spoken and the time to defund Planned Parenthood, a habitual and unapologetic ally of those who deal in the exploitation of minors, is now. This is a black and white issue and we will accept nothing less than the total defunding of Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution.”

If they succeed, it will be in no small part due to the hard work of Dannenfelser and her colleagues--who have proven they are a force to be reckoned with.

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