For years Republicans have promised to defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which currently rakes in $500 million per year in taxpayer money. They've won elections on the issue after being backed by pro-life groups.
Yet with a new Republican majority in the House, Senate and White House, Planned Parenthood is still getting taxpayer funding as part of a budget deal struck over the weekend. President Trump said on the campaign trail he would be willing to keep Planned Parenthood funding, so long as the organization stopped performing abortions. Since Inauguration day, 81,000 abortions have been performed at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.
Pro-life groups and conservatives with major political capital have taken notice.
“A majority (53.3 percent) of Americans support redirecting Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to community health centers that offer a full range of primary and preventative care but do not perform or promote abortion. With pro-life Republican majorities in both houses, it is incredibly disappointing that any Republican spending bill would contain continued funding for Planned Parenthood,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser released in a statement. "This makes it imperative that Republicans also move quickly on a reconciliation bill that redirects the abortion giant’s funding to community health centers."
“In March, Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in order to overturn then President Obama’s last minute regulation which forced states to fund Planned Parenthood under Title X. That effort to undo Obama’s parting gift to the big abortion industry proves that the votes are there using reconciliation. Women would be better served by these comprehensive health care entities, which outnumber the abortion chain by more than 20 to one nationwide. Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 320,000 abortions in a single year per their latest annual report, does not need or deserve taxpayer dollars,” she continued.
Concerned Women for America issued a similar response.
"Although there is much to like in this budget, members of Concerned Women for America are deeply saddened that despite a historic turn out in the 2016 election cycle, a president that supports our cause, and victory in the passage of HJ Res 43, Congress hasn't gotten the message. The American people no longer support their hard-earned tax dollars propping up the big abortion industrial complex, Planned Parenthood," CWA President Penny Nancy released in a statement.
"However, Planned Parenthood shouldn't throw a party yet. The aforementioned resolution signed by President Trump in my presence on Easter Week gives governors the authority to not fund Planned Parenthood with this money (Title X). Title X comprises about 20% of Planned Parenthood's government funding. The bigger portion comes from Medicaid, which will be addressed in budget reconciliation," Nance continued. " This disappointing legislative effort underscores that Congress must quickly pass a budget reconciliation. Every day that Planned Parenthood continues to receive the current level of $500 million in taxpayer funds means 1,000 lives snuffed out in their clinics."
The White House is arguing the current budget agreement is limited for 2017 and the majority of the President's priorities will be included for fiscal year 2018.
"Remember, it's important to keep in context. We're talking about 2017 funding," Spicer said. "This is something that most presidents would have walked into office and that would have been done. Because the last Congress didn't do this under President Obama, we have an opportunity to get some of the President's priorities infused for the last five months of 2017. That's a big step forward."