Anti-abortion leaders urge Congress to fast-track Planned Parenthood defunding

Anti-abortion leaders urge Congress to fast-track Planned Parenthood defunding
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Ten leaders of anti-abortion groups are urging Congress to defund Planned Parenthood using a fast-track budget maneuver that is immune to filibuster. 

The leaders, led by the Susan B. Anthony List's Marjorie Dannenfelser, asked Republicans in a letter Tuesday to revisit the fiscal year 2017 reconciliation bill "immediately" to defund Planned Parenthood. 

That bill was supposed to be used to repeal parts of ObamaCare, but Senate Republicans could not find the support within their party to pass it, and given a raft of congressional must-do items, that effort seems unlikely.

“The pro-life majority that now controls both chambers of Congress and the White House must pass a reconciliation bill stopping the vast majority of federal funding for Planned Parenthood," the leaders wrote in the letter.

"Doing anything less brings into question whether this Congress can truly be called the Pro-life Congress. Rhetoric must be translated into law."

The leaders urged Republicans to "immediately" find consensus on a bill that "takes Planned Parenthood off the federal Medicaid dole and offers women comprehensive alternatives." 


"Whether that is a broad pro-life healthcare reform package or a narrower bill is up to Congress to determine, but giving up is not why the voters sent pro-life Republicans to Congress," the leaders wrote. 

They said Congress should defund Planned Parenthood using the fiscal 2018 bill should time for the 2017 bill run out. 

The 2017 reconciliation bill expires at the end of the month. 

Current law already prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, but opponents of Planned Parenthood argue that money still indirectly supports abortion.

The Senate GOP's health care bill would have defunded Planned Parenthood by blocking Medicaid reimbursements for one year. 

It also would have banned the use of ObamaCare subsidies for plans that cover abortion. 

The letter was signed by Dannenfelser, as well as Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and Americans United for Life president and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster, among others.