By Jordy Yager - 02/23/11 09:28 PM EST
U.S. Capitol Police arrested six protesters with an anti-abortion-rights group on Wednesday as they pushed House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) not to fund Planned Parenthood in a final spending bill.
The group’s leader, Randall Terry, led the protest in front of Boehner’s personal office in the Longworth House Office Building with chants of “Defund Planned Parenthood. No compromise.”
Republican Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) led the charge last week to cut more than $300 million in funding for Planned Parenthood as part of the House-passed spending bill. The Senate is slated to take up a continuing resolution next week. Several Democrats in the upper chamber have promised to block the Republican agenda to limit abortion services and defund Planned Parenthood.
With the possibility of a government shutdown looming on March 4, Republicans may be inclined to back off of their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
Terry said Republicans will pay a steep political cost if they allow funding for the group in a final spending bill ironed out in a conference committee.
“We will not be satisfied until Boehner instructs the House conference committee to not allow funding for Planned Parenthood,” Terry told The Hill. “The Senate version of the continuing resolution is going to give money to Planned Parenthood. It just is. And so it’s up to Boehner to instruct the conferees to say that there is no compromise on this.
“And if Boehner holds the line, he’ll be a hero. If he betrays the pro-life movement, then he has blood on his hands and he is collaborating with pimps and child molesters.”
A spokesman for Boehner declined to comment about the protest.
In the next several weeks Terry said he will work with anti-abortion-rights activists to organize demonstrations around the country at the district offices of Republican freshmen.
“The freshmen aren’t jaded yet, and we have to remind them that they were elected to represent their constituents, not the Republican leadership,” said Terry. “The Republican leaders are afraid of a battle over the conference committee. They’re going to try and strong-arm the Tea Party Caucus of the House into voting for the continuing resolution that is a scam. … These freshmen did not come to D.C. to join the club. They didn’t come to get a place at the table. They came to overturn the table.”
If the final spending bill does include funding for Planned Parenthood, Terry said he has asked GOP Reps. Trent Franks (Ariz.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa), Pence and Chris Smith (N.J.) to hold the measure “hostage.”
Terry added that the protests are a result of anti-abortion-rights groups not feeling like Republicans have listened to them.
“The GOP has treated the pro-life movement like a pimp treats a hooker,” said Terry. “They use us to raise money. They use us to stay in power. Then when we need them to actually do something, they won’t do it.”