With Planned Parenthood in the cross hairs over allegation that they’re illegally trafficking human body parts from aborted babies, there have been calls from lawmakers to defund the organization in Congress. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing into the practices of Planned Parenthood this week, where Democratic Representatives stood firm in their support for the organization. The media has also been another obstacle, with the major networks barely covering the undercover investigation conducted by the Center for Medical Progress that shed some light on Planned Parenthood’s alleged felonious activities. Oh, and the full, unedited videos are also available on their YouTube channel.
As a result, a majority of Americans haven’t heard about the investigative videos, let alone watched them. Nevertheless, this week, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) introduced The Women’s Health Accountability Act, which would reroute funds to health enters instead of going directly to Planned Parenthood, according to the Courier-Tribune. In the Senate, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), who was elected in 2014, spoke with pro-life organization Bound4Life, where he gave his support for defunding Planned Parenthood, but also passing a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks, which remains a popular policy:
Bound4LIFE: You speak of the right to life. You recently joined a bipartisan group of senators led by Senator Joni Ernst to call for the Department of Health & Human Services to investigate Planned Parenthood. What made you take this stand?
Steve Daines: How can anyone watch these videos and not be outraged at what they contain? An important role we have here in Congress is oversight, so it’s vital we investigate Planned Parenthood.
Joni Ernst is a good friend of mine here on the Hill; we were elected together this past November. I have great respect for Joni, and I’m very glad to see her leading in this effort. She is pulling us together so we can get to the bottom of what was going on here.
I support defunding Planned Parenthood; that is something I would like to see happen, and I will continue to fight for that on the floor of the United States Senate.
Bound4LIFE: On June 11, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate; you are one of 45 Senators currently co-sponsoring the bill. Why is this policy important for our nation to consider?
Steve Daines: We must fight for the most vulnerable in our society: the elderly, the disabled, and the unborn. They do not have a voice here on Capitol Hill. Their right to life is protected by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, so we speak up.
This is a bill that a majority of the American people are behind, banning late-term abortions after 20 weeks when a baby can feel pain. This is ground that we can fight on and win – it’s good policy, and it’s the right battle to be fighting right now on Capitol Hill. We need to try to get legislation passed and on the President’s desk.
Bound4LIFE: Even though a companion bill passed the House with overwhelming support, the Pain-Capable bill is unlikely to be signed by the President and enacted as law. What are the goals of this legislation?
Steve Daines: Let’s go back to the story of William Wilberforce, who fought slavery for years in England. Similarly, this is a battle that has been ongoing for decades, and we must continue in the fight.
When will we finally win this victory? I don’t know – all I know is, we must continue to be a voice for those who don’t have a voice. It’s a long-term battle.
Abortion is a long battle–any cultural issue usually takes generations for a resolution. Americans constantly fluctuate between pro-choice and pro-life. Neither side maintains a majority for long. Yet, the 20-week ban has garnered 60 percent support with American women. Everyone is pretty much is against late-term abortion, so the senator is right that there is a lot more room to maneuver than, say, repealing Roe v. Wade. The silver lining is that while a solid majority support not overturning the landmark ruling that legalized abortion, Americans also want restrictions on the procedure.
Nevertheless, the fight to protect the unborn and the vulnerable continue.