By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
Editor’s note. This story appeared in the current digital edition of National Right to Life News at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsFeb2016.pdf. The entire 40 page edition can be downloaded and/or forwarded to pro-life friends and family.
Please enjoy the issue.
Following the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, the election season is in full swing. The process of choosing the presidential candidate for both parties will continue through June 7. Congressional primary elections begin March 1, and will run through September 16, except in Louisiana, which holds their primary on November 8. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind.
At times, passion runs high; there is a lot at stake in this election. The next president will likely have an opportunity to sign a reconciliation bill to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Will it be vetoed, as it was by President Obama on January 8, or will it be signed? If Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) is the president, it will surely be vetoed.
Even the Hyde Amendment, a law which since 1976 prevents taxpayer funding of elective abortions through federal programs, could be at risk depending on who voters elect as the next president. (The Hyde Amendment has been attributed to saving at least one million lives.)
Finally, during the next four year presidential term, it is quite possible that about four seats may open up on the U.S. Supreme Court, which are lifetime appointments. This has lifelong implications – for our children and our grandchildren.
Some pro-life incumbent congressmen are being challenged by candidates who claim that their votes in favor of the Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) means they are “not really pro-life.” This is being said of some of the most stalwart defenders of life on the Hill!
Committed pro-life House members, who have 100% voting scores from National Right to Life, are being inaccurately, unfairly described as “not pro-life enough” by some critics, who in some cases may merely be poorly informed and in other cases may have exterior political motives.
In fact, National Right to Life took no position on H.R. 2029, which passed the House of Representatives on December 18 by a vote of 316-113.
“No House member did anything contrary to pro-life interests by voting in favor of the omnibus appropriations bill on December 18, 2015,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The bill preserved existing pro-life laws such as the Hyde Amendment, and contrary to some claims, it contained no earmark, line item, or specific appropriation for Planned Parenthood.”
“We need a new law to prevent Planned Parenthood from tapping into federal health programs such as Medicaid – but that effort was best advanced by approval of a separate bill, the budget reconciliation bill (H.R. 3762), which was immune from a pro-abortion filibuster,” Tobias continued. “Although the reconciliation bill was vetoed, the filibuster-avoiding path blazed by H.R. 3762 can be employed to enact a block on funding to Planned Parenthood, once there is a president willing to sign it.”
A Word of Caution
A word of caution to pro-life voters. As you support your preferred pro-life candidate in the primaries, it is important that you don’t bash other prolife candidates. It weakens support for the candidate who eventually wins and undermines the very goal of saving countless lives.
And, if “your” candidate does not win the primary, it is crucial that you stay engaged.
Bottom line: when pro-life voters stay home, babies die.