Senators, if you are really pro-life, vote like it

Senators, if you are really pro-life, vote like it
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With his comic strip character Pogo, cartoonist Walt Kelly coined the phrase “we have met the enemy and he is us.” This line is fitting for those of us wondering why the U.S. Senate, with its purported pro-life majority, can’t seem to confirm all of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE’s nominees or even vote, let alone pass, pro-life legislation.

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We saw the latest example of this after the House of Representatives passed Micah’s Law, legislation that would protect unborn children from abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. While House Members and pro-life groups were celebrating this major victory, Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynSenate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash McConnell: Russians are not our friends Russians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit MORE (R-Texas) was throwing the bill under the bus by describing the legislation as “not a near-term priority” for Republicans in the Senate. This is the same pro-life senator who recently said Planned Parenthood defunding should not be done on tax reform reconciliation.

Unfortunately, Sen. Cornyn is merely the tip of the iceberg.  He gave a public voice to what too many senators say behind the scenes before any pro-life vote.  They like the pro-life issue well enough when they are campaigning, but cannot take the heat of actually voting the principles they espouse.  

These are the same senate Republicans who in the months of debating the repeal of ObamaCare this past year hesitated to speak publicly on the issue of abortion funding in the bill until the final week of the failed Better Care Act vote in the Senate.

When asked why they didn't, I was told it was a strategic move. How is remaining silent on the issue of taxpayers funding abortions — an idea that, according to Marist polling, 61 percent of Americans oppose — strategic? In relation to Micah’s Law, that same poll found that nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of Americans want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester, excepting situations involving the life of the mother.

This is dangerous political territory to be in for a chamber that is woefully behind in confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees and has been found to work, on average, only 2.5 days a week. If the Senate truly wanted to put its money where its pro-life mouth is, they would push for a vote early in 2018 on Micah’s Law.  

Such a vote is not only the right thing to do, it is also a common sense option for Senate Republicans after they failed to repeal the pro-abortion ObamaCare and to defund our nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. The GOP Senate is in desperate need of a pro-life vote, however a vote is unlikely to happen without increased pressure on Republicans, the party responsible for promising to deliver real pro-life progress to their constituents.

The entire U.S. Senate is showing itself to be out of step with the pro-life nation as a whole.  This disconnect is clear when you look at activism on the local level, where pro-life activists and legislators are racking up huge wins. On the national level politicians either need to step up their game or it will be time to call in the farm team.

Tom McClusky is president of March for Life Action.