It’s easy to say you’re a pro-life legislator; it’s quite another to actually weather an intense storm of adversity when standing firmly on pro-life principles. Recently, we featured the story of one pro-life legislator, Florida State Representative Daphne Campbell, who has done just that.
Rep. Campbell faced a firestorm of criticism from her colleagues. One, Rep. Scott Randolph, even threw papers in her face, called her a traitor, and threatened to have her removed from his office—all because she decided to remain firm in her commitment to protecting the lives of unborn children.
In Wisconsin, a similar storm is brewing. There, pro-life State Senator Glenn Grothman has been the unfortunate recipient of the anti-life crowd’s vicious venom. Like Rep. Campbell, Sen. Grothman faces outlandish attacks simply due to his unwavering stand for life.
Ever since Grothman was elected, first to the Assembly and more recently to the Senate, he has been a staunch defender of life. In 2008, Sen. Grothman led his pro-life colleagues in an effort to prevent the University of Wisconsin Hospital from sponsoring a midterm abortion clinic.
Concerning the hospital’s plans, Grothman retorted, “I am ashamed that the University would even consider being a part of a 2nd trimester abortion clinic. Other hospitals around the country are taking pride in providing lifesaving care to these babies. I am finding revulsion among some normally pro-choice people at doing abortions so far into the pregnancy.”
Sadly, in 2009, the University Hospital went ahead with its plans to abort babies up to 22 weeks after conception. As Grothman would later argue, “Anybody with an ounce of humanity knows this is murder.” At the time, Sen. Grothman noted the inherent barbarism of the practice:
This is unbelievable. No other clinic in south central Wisconsin would touch something so barbaric. Entire European countries including Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Norway and Switzerland who allow abortions in the first three months would consider doing something so horrific as painful late-term abortions. It is amazing every other medical facility in this region takes a pass on these barbaric procedures, but the UW says, ‘The Public be Damned and the Babies be Damned—We’re Going Ahead!’
Fortunately, the hospital board was not able to perpetrate its dastardly deed as quietly as it would have liked—Glenn Grothman and thousands of pro-life activists made sure of that. The weekend before the hospital board voted to approve the abortion clinic, Grothman helped mobilize 1,200 to 1,600 pro-life marchers to the center of the controversy—the University of Wisconsin’s Madison Campus. In thanking pro-lifers for their efforts, Grothman stated, “We know Planned Parenthood and their ilk were emailing people and trying to get supporters to turn out in support of the UW’s proposed late-term abortion clinic, but they only had 50-60 people. It appears the pro-abortion community had to rely on odd angry permanently protesting sorts like the International Socialist Organization to defend their extreme agenda.”
Without question, this wouldn’t be the first, and certainly not the last, time Sen. Grothman would stare down the anti-life behemoth—Planned Parenthood. In early 2010, he called Planned Parenthood to task due to appalling occurrences at one of its Wisconsin facilities. A Planned Parenthood counselor was videotaped telling a woman that there would be nothing wrong with having an abortion at her stage of pregnancy because an unborn baby’s heartbeat doesn’t really begin until 17 or 18 weeks after conception. Also, the counselor advised the woman that getting an abortion would be much safer than actually giving birth. Sen. Grothman and his pro-life colleagues aptly pointed out to Planned Parenthood that scientific evidence shows that a child’s heart begins to beat three weeks and one day after he or she was conceived.
Such reprehensible action on the part of Planned Parenthood also led Grothman to note the history of Planned Parenthood—including that it was founded by the eugenicist Margaret Sanger. While noting his belief that Planned Parenthood “is almost the most evil organization in our country right now,” Grothman called on his colleagues to cut the organization’s public funding. “Since Planned Parenthood receives $12 Million annually from the taxpayers, members of the State Legislature may want to start exploring ways to protect children from Planned Parenthood rather than continue to invite this organization to the public trough.”
Finally, the Wisconsin Legislature is taking action to roll back Planned Parenthood’s funding—just as Sen. Grothman suggested. To be certain, Planned Parenthood and its allies aren’t taking the news lying down. They still purport the distorted tale that Planned Parenthood Wisconsin (PPWI) is a healthcare provider. This is despite the fact that PPWI is the largest abortion provider in the state, doesn’t provide mammograms, and often covers up “purported statutory rape.”
In 2010, PPWI received more than $18 million from federal and state sources. Because of this funding, PPWI was able to utilize its other resources to fund 5,439 abortions in 2009 alone. Even scarier is the fact that, in 2008, PPWI performed 56% less abortions, or 3,053. So, the fact of the matter is that as funding to Planned Parenthood rises, so do the number of abortions it performs.
Sen. Grothman and his colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee voted, on May 18, to cut approximately $2 million of PPWI’s $18 million in public funding. It is important to note that neither Grothman nor his pro-life colleagues intend to stop here. Due to the pro-abortion stewardship of former Gov. Jim Doyle, the Legislature has a very tangled web to unweave.
In order to better protect life, all public funding for Planned Parenthood must eventually be eliminated. As Sen. Grothman said, “There’s a very ugly side to this organization, and I regret that they’re going to take such a tiny cut in the budget.” Regardless, this effort to cut Planned Parenthood’s funding must be seen as a heroic effort in a long battle to protect life in Wisconsin.
As Planned Parenthood and its allies submerge pro-life members’ offices in a mountain of angry, bitter, and sometimes threatening messages, pro-lifers must take a stand. As Ronald Regan once said, “You and I can do this. The only way we can do it is by writing to our [elected official] even if we believe that he is on our side to begin with. Write to strengthen his hand. Give him the ability to stand before his colleagues…and say ‘I have heard from my constituents and this is what they want.’”