WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed two bills strongly backed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) – one bill to extend federal legal protection to babies who are born alive during abortions, and another to suspend all federal funding to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 3504) passed 248-177. No Republican voted against it, but only five House Democrats voted in favor of it. A White House statement issued September 16 said that President Obama would veto the bill because he thinks it “would likely have a chilling effect” on access to late abortions.
NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, “The 177 House Democrats who voted against the bill will have many opportunities to try to explain why they voted against making it a crime for an abortionist to snip the spine of a born-alive baby, or to harvest that baby’s liver while her heart still beats.”
The House also passed the Defund Planned Parenthood Act (H.R. 3134), 241-187, on a near-party-line vote. This bill would suspend all forms of federal funding to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) for one year, unless they discontinue providing elective abortions. Over one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities. Longstanding objections to the massive federal funding of PPFA have been reinforced by recent widely publicized undercover videos, which illuminate involvement by some PPFA affiliates and executives in the harvesting and selling of baby body parts. These highly troubling videos have triggered ongoing investigations by multiple congressional committees and by authorities in many states.
NRLC President Carol Tobias commented, “President Obama and most Democrats in Congress think Planned Parenthood can do no wrong, and regrettably we do not have the supermajorities required to overcome them. To cut off tax subsidies to the Planned Parenthood empire will require election of a pro-life president.”