by Jill Stanek
National Campaign Chair
Yesterday was a monumental and historic day for pro-lifers. For the first time, the United States Senate passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
Republicans figured out a way to skirt a Democrat filibuster, which forces a bill to pass by 60 votes, through a process called “reconciliation.” This allows a bill to pass by a simple 51-vote majority.
Along the way, Republicans got the Senate Parliamentarian’s stamp of approval for this legislative maneuver. The whole process – and the victory – set an important precedent to do this again in 2017, after we elect a pro-life president.
Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn understood the ramifications of yesterday in an article, “The real reason for the Obamacare repeal.”
Haberkorn focused on the Obamacare component of the aforementioned bill. (Along with defunding Planned Parenthood, HR 3762 also dismantles large chunks of the Affordable Care Act.) But the same equally applies to the component of the bill defunding Planned Parenthood:
The GOP has big reasons to move ahead with a doomed mission: to force the president to veto the bill, to fulfill a promise to its base and to lay the groundwork to truly repeal Obamacare under a Republican president in 2017. It’s not just optics. Republicans are carefully constructing a legislative strategy, based on Senate rules and precedents, to make it easier to unravel the health law in 2017 if a Republican wins the White House….
The bill approved by the Senate would repeal the health care law’s medical device and Cadillac taxes, Medicaid expansion and the subsidies that help consumers buy insurance. It would change the fines for the individual and employer mandates to $0, effectively making them moot. The legislation would also defund Planned Parenthood for one year.
Yes, Obama will veto HR 3762, but here are four reasons its passage is a huge deal:
- This represents a new legislative path to defund Planned Parenthood. It sets a precedent. It shows the way forward to defund PP with a simple majority vote in the Senate.
- The reconciliation process would defund PP on a much larger scale than via the appropriations process, cutting off 89% of federal taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood by cutting it off from entitlement programs such as Medicaid. (Don’t forget, the bill redirects this spending to community health centers.)
- This shows the importance of electing a pro-life president. Had we a pro-life president this moment, PP would soon be defunded.
- This keeps PP in the spotlight, allowing pro-lifers to continue to educate the public on horrible truths exposed about their profit-driven abortion business – including their involvement in the harvesting of baby organs.
Planned Parenthood sees the future, and it knows its tax-funded, cash-cow days are numbered unless a pro-abortion president is elected in 2016.
PP will now be fighting for its survival, so it will pull out all stops to make that happen.
We can do no less. We must do more.