In May, the House of Representatives passed a health care reconciliation bill that contained pro-life protections, such as a prohibition on any federal tax subsidies paying for abortion and a redirection of Planned Parenthood’s funding towards Federally Qualified Health Centers.
But with so many issues on the table, I’m concerned about our pro-life priorities remaining in the legislation as it works its way through the Senate.
This is the opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood, so pro-life America must speak out!
Pro-abortion forces, and the media that agrees with them, often try to paint the pro-life side as extreme. Issues proven popular with most Americans, such as parental consent for minors seeking an abortion, protecting unborn children at 20-weeks, or even religious protections for entities and individuals that oppose abortion, are described by groups like abortion-giant Planned Parenthood as part of a diabolical scheme in a mythical “War on Women.”
However, during the month of July, pro-abortion Senators in the U.S. Senate exposed what true extremism is by holding a hearing on one radical piece of legislation, and a floor vote on yet another. First up was a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on what is unquestionably the most anti-life bill ever seen in the U.S. Congress, S. 1696, “The Women’s Health Protection Act” (WHaPA). The WHaPA would override the tremendous success of protecting women’s health and limiting abortion that we have seen in the states. Not since the radical “Freedom of Choice Act,” supported by President Obama, have we seen a bill that is so anti-mother and child.
An analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that that S. 1696 would turn back the clock on such pro-life gains as 20-week laws, conscience protections, bans on sex discrimination abortions, sonogram and fetal heartbeat requirements, and prohibitions on taxpayer funding of abortion and it would also eliminate regulations of abortionists like Philadelphia butcher Kermit Gosnell. The bill is so radical that only two Senate sponsors even bothered showing up for the hearing, while pro-life Senators were well represented. This bill is quite obviously a desperate cry from those who profit off of the misery of abortion, yet it should be taken as a serious threat to life everywhere.
Later that same week, Senate Democratic Leadership rushed to the Senate floor a vote on legislation introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that was supposedly an answer to the Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby. The bill, S. 2578, the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act, was more than a simple response though – it was an outright attack on both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and it would give the government the power to define conscience.
Pro-life Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) described the Senate Democrats’ bill to limit religious liberty as one that “targets religious freedom as the problem. It treats certain religious beliefs as simply unworthy of recognition and religious exercise in general as a second- or even a third-rate value.” The bill failed to gain the 60 votes it needed to proceed, but it is a good warning how fragile our religious freedom is. As President Ronald Reagan once said “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
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