By Dave Andrusko
An already great week for our Movement, which began with the swearing in of Neil Gorsuch as a justice of the Supreme Court, became even sweeter this morning when pro-life President Donald Trump signed H. J. Res. 43.
As reported previously in NRL News Today, H.J. Res. 43 uses the Congressional Review Act to nullify an 11th hour Obama gift to his friends at Planned Parenthood.
In recent years, several states receiving Title X family planning grants have opted to direct those funds to county health departments, community health centers, or other types of providers, in preference to organizations engaged in objectionable activities, such as Planned Parenthood, a mega-marketer of abortion that has also been involved in fetal organ trafficking.
But Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a last-minute regulation rule designed to block states from redirecting their Title X funds. The regulation took effect January 18, just two days before Barack Obama left office.
H.J. Res. 43 restores that option to redirect Title X funds, if a state so chooses.
H.J. Res. 43 was introduced in the House by Rep. Diane Black (R-Tn.). In the Senate, the measure was introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
In its letter to House members in support of H. J. Res. 43, NRLC wrote
Over one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities. Longstanding objections to the massive governmental funding of PPFA have been reinforced by widely publicized undercover videos, which illuminate the callous brutality that occurs daily in these abortion mills.
While H. J. Res. 43 easily passed the House, it required pro-life Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as President of the Senate, to cast two tie-breaking votes.
A 50-50 vote came about because Republicans control the Senate by only a 52-48 margin. Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against allowing the legislature to more forward, necessitating Pence’s first tie-breaking vote, and then against the bill itself, requiring a second tie-breaking vote by the Vice President.
Adding drama, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) returned to the Senate for the first time since having back surgery to cast the 50th vote, creating the tie that led to Pence’s vote.