The omnibus spending bill the United States Congress passed this week includes half a billion dollars in Planned Parenthood funding. The bill, a $1.3 trillion spending measure for fiscal year 2018, continues to channel money to the abortion industry through more than $500 million awarded to Planned Parenthood through Medicaid and Title X grants for family planning. Despite voicing opposition, President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Friday.
The passage of legislation continuing the deadly trend of funding the nation’s largest abortion business is unconscionable. Many Pro-Life elected officials betrayed Pro-Life voters, and, even more gravely, betrayed the vulnerable preborn who are killed every day at Planned Parenthood. Each year, more than 320,000 preborn babies lose their lives at Planned Parenthood abortion mills.
Congressional leadership’s failure to end funding to Planned Parenthood demonstrates the importance of advocating for Pro-Life principles in the budget. Texas Right to Life has led the fight for years to keep the Texas state budget Pro-Life, methodically ending the flow of taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry and ensuring increased funding for life-affirming social and medical services. As Texans have witnessed, the budget is not a neutral political negotiation but a matter of life and death. When we allow our elected officials in Washington to send our money to an organization that centers their business model on ending the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent babies every year, we cannot claim to have a Pro-Life federal government.
Not all of Texas’ congressional delegation failed to keep their promises to voters and to the preborn. Congressmen Louie Gohmert, Ted Poe, John Ratcliffe, Joe Barton, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, Blake Farenthold, and Brian Babin voted against the anti-Life omnibus bill. Pro-Life stalwart Senator Ted Cruz also voted against the legislation after raising awareness over the fatal errors of the bill, specifically citing his objection to the funding of Planned Parenthood.
However, many legislators abandoned campaign promises and chose politics over Pro-Life principles. The failure of so many high-profile legislators to defend the most vulnerable is a stark reminder of how important elections are. Even with a Republican president and Republican majorities in both chambers of U.S. Congress, the Pro-Life movement needs principled leadership who stand up against establishment forces that maintain the anti-Life status quo, like taxpayer funding of abortion providers and their affiliates. Texas Right to Life PAC endorsed candidates Bunni Pounds and Ron Wright would not vote for a bill that betrays these most basic Pro-Life principles, no matter the content, promise, or negotiation of similar legislation. As Pounds and Wright head toward a runoff election, the Pro-Life movement must actively support these candidates who are the true Pro-Life advocates in these elections.
Pro-Lifers have tried for years to end taxpayer funding of the abortion industry. With a Pro-Life president in office and a Pro-Life majority in Congress, there is no excuse for this failure.