Pro-Life Progress in 2011 Spending Bill
Achieving spending cuts is always a challenge in Washington. The American people recognize the United States must achieve fiscal responsibility for our economy to get back on track and putting people back to work.
Throughout this process, Catholic Advocate has been among a group of key pro-life organizations calling for the de-funding of Planned Parenthood. Our view has been that in order to be serious about spending cuts – the largest abortion provider in our country should not have access to tax dollars as long as they perform abortions.
The issue is about abortion funding NOT taking away women’s health care as some on the other side of the issue argue. In fact, one of the key talking points used by Planned Parenthood and its supporters focused on performing mammograms – a fact debunked by LiveAction calling clinics across the country.
In Washington, it is challenging on any given day to see legislation passed. Our democratic process was designed that way by our Founding Fathers.
At the moment, to paraphrase Speaker of the House John Boehner, the pro-life community can count one half of one third of our government as pro-life. [granted one third of our government is the Supreme Court that was not involved in the issues of the past weeks]
The other half of the Congress is controlled by pro-abortion Democrats and, when that is combined with the most pro-abortion President ever elected, the pro-life majority in the House of Representatives is placed into a position where they achieve what they can and live to fight another day.
The agreement will immediately cut $38.5 billion in federal spending – the largest spending cut in American history in terms of dollars.
The pro-life cause did not achieve every success sought in this spending bill, but we can be proud of some of the progress made. We can also feel confident that the corruption associated with Planned Parenthood’s abortion business has been revealed and will hopefully lead to future success in privatizing their activities.
Catholic Advocate has done a summary for our community on the various components of the spending bill that might be of interest:
Bans Taxpayer Funding of Abortion in the District of Columbia.
The agreement includes a complete ban on federal funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, applying the pro-life principles of the Hyde Amendment (“D.C. Hyde” or also known as the “Dornan Amendment”).
Guarantees Senate Vote & Debate on De-Funding Planned Parenthood.
The agreement with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Click here to tell both your Senators to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
Reduces UNFPA Money
Money for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund associated with China’s brutal one child policy, is adjusted to $40 million (FY08 level) this is $15 million below the money appropriated by Congress in 2010.
Title X Family Planning Program
Reduces Title X domestic family planning funding to $300 million, $17 million less than 2010.
The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act
The spending bill includes the House of Representatives passed H.R. 471 which reauthorizes the Washington D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program at $60 million per year for 5 years, which is over $15 million per year less than the program is currently receiving. It revives the program which had been shelved by the Obama Administration.
Planned Parenthood Funding
The de-funding Planned Parenthood language is not in the spending bill. However, the House of Representatives is planning hearings to put Planned Parenthood officials on the record, under oath, and further expose their activities.
Reduces international family planning money…but
The deal reduces the international population control/family planning funding to $575 million, but does not reinstate the Mexico City Policy that President Obama vacated by Executive Order his first week in office. Even though this is $73 million below the money appropriated in 2010, without the Mexico City Policy these funds can be directed to foreign non-governmental organizations that promote and perform abortion.
These negotiations were a 2-on-1 situation against pro-life Members of Congress. This is yet another example of why elections matter.
Catholic Advocate will continue to work to prevent our tax dollars from being used to support Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.
In the coming weeks there will be the Senate vote and debate on Planned Parenthood as well as the 2012 spending bills still need to be considered.
The leadership of the House of Representatives deserves to be commended for the progress made and their willingness to go back into the arena to fight for the innocent unborn.
By Matt Smith, Vice President of Catholic Advocate