When an amendment by Rep. Mike Pence that would de-fund Planned Parenthood made it out of committee on Thursday, congressmen were forced to take a stand on the issue in a roll call vote. And though the amendment was neatly defeated today 247-183, with nine Republicans joining with the Democrats in voting the amendment down, the vote represents two opportunities for pro-life advocates: a chance to put Planned Parenthood’s Federal Funding ($350 million, or 34 percent of its total revenue) back on the table for public discussion, and a reminder that public funding of abortions is unpopular with some, and an outrage to others.
Recently, undercover private investigations such as this this have raised questions about widespread illegal “rule-bending” and serious offenses including failure to report statutory rape at Planned Parenthood branches in a number of states. Considering that the organization performs an estimated 25 percent of all abortions, these allegations merit much more serious consideration than they have been given.
On a broader level, 51 percent of Americans now identify as pro-life according to a May Gallup Poll, the first time in nearly 15 years that the country has seen a pro-life majority. President Obama’s decision to lift a ban on overseas funding of abortions was broadly unpopular, and Blue Dog Democrats in the House last week informed Speaker Pelosi that no healthcare bill including federal funding of abortions would receive their vote.
Research from earlier this week shows that public funding dramatically increased the number of abortions performed. As Rep. Pence wrote eloquently in a Townhall.com editorial yesterday, “Budgets are moral documents. Federal funding should reflect the priorities and the values of the majority of the American people.”
And in a time when, according to the president, we have run out of money, de-funding an organization like Planned Parenthood ought to be a no-brainer for legislators.