Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Budget Battles Lead to Prediction of Election Issues

Bench Briefs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Budget Battles Lead to Prediction
of Election Issues


Predictions about the fallout from the coming 2012 budget debates center on one universally accepted reality: How the Congress votes on the budget will become an election issue. And Americans United for Life Action will be there, ready to discuss how members voted on federal funding of abortion and to welcome new pro-life members to Congress.

Evidence of the budget as an election issue was seen last year, when the Democratically controlled House, Senate and White House did not pass a budget before the midterm elections, fearing backlash at the polls. And despite claims that shutting down the government would be catastrophic, President Obama and his Senate allies made it clear that unless taxpayers were forced to support Planned Parenthood, the government would close.

As a result, AULA President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest announced that the vote on de-funding Planned Parenthood and de-funding President Obama’s pro-abortion health care law would be scored because of the life issues at stake – issues that voters want to see resolved. During these troubled economic times, taxpaying Americans don’t want to give a bailout to the profitable and disreputable abortion industry.

All last week, AULA worked Capitol Hill behind the scenes, cheering the Planned Parenthood cuts in the House budget that passed with bipartisan support, but noting that the Senate seems ready to welcome new, pro-life members, as the majority in the Senate insisted on forcing taxpayers to support Planned Parenthood.

In a letter to the Senate last week (click here to read it in its entirety), Dr. Yoest said: “Recent polls reveal that an overwhelming majority of Americans—whether pro-life or pro-abortion—oppose the use of federal monies to support abortion.  In 2009, Planned Parenthood reported performing 332,278 abortions, 8,270 more abortions than it performed in 2008.  Planned Parenthood is expanding the reach of its abortion business by dispensing the abortion drug RU-486 via Skype, in violation of the Food and Drug Administration’s protocol, and circumventing state laws designed to protect women. Planned Parenthood itself has recently made plain the centrality of abortion to its mission, mandating that every Planned Parenthood affiliate have at least one clinic performing abortion within the next two years.”

Speaker Boehner applauded the work of AUL in the budget battles in a blog last week, writing that support from pro-life leaders gives the House agreement a “positive boost,” but says more can be done. Click here to read more.

Politico noted that within moments after the Senate vote, AUL was there to comment on the implications of the budget struggles. (Click here to read the article.)

“Today’s vote was historic because for the first time the Senate was forced to go on record over whether they support using Americans’ tax dollars to support the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, a bloated, scandal-ridden abortion advocate,” said Dr. Yoest. “But today’s vote made clear which senators care more about the interests of the politically influential abortion lobby than the lives and safety of American women and families.”

As the debate begins already over the raising of the federal debt limit and the 2012 budget, look for taxpayer subsidies to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, to remain a key issue.

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Yoest & Franzonello Take On the Nation's Largest Abortion Provider in The Washington Times


Planned Parenthood has always been selectively proud of its abortion affiliation.  But throughout the Congressional debate over its funding, Planned Parenthood has worked hard to keep the fact that the organization is increasingly synonymous with abortion under wraps. This week in The Washington Times, Dr. Yoest and AUL staff attorney Anna Franzonello detailed some of the math of the disreputable abortion giant, which profited more than $63 million in 2009 alone. To read the entire column, click here.

[object Object]Pro-Life Momentum State-by-State:
AUL Looks at the Math 
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AUL's Life List rankings from earlier this year.

Pro-life activists know that at the state level, pro-life legislation has been successfully advanced across the country.

So far this year, at least 48 bills have been introduced based partially or primarily on AUL models or have been drafted by AUL attorneys in 21 states.  With more legislation coming forward every week, the number continues to rise.

AUL VP for Government Affairs Dan McConchie observed that newly elected pro-life members in state legislatures around the country “have been determined to keep their promises to their voters to make pro-life principles into pro-life protections within the law. We have seen new leaders emerging, and the nation is better for it.”

The state-by-state chart above illustrates how the 50 states compared in 2010 in the well-known “Life List,”  which compares the states accomplishments on life-related legislation. To read more about the rankings, click here.

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In the News

Reporter Bennett Roth of Roll Call interviewed AUL’s Clark Forsythe this week for a piece on Planned Parenthood’s history. To read more, click here.

Catholic News Service highlighted AUL’s work in the passage of opt-out legislation in Virginia. AUL twice testified in favor of the measure and worked hard for the passage of the legislation, based on AUL’s model legislation. Click here to read the entire article.