Politics & Policy

It’s High Time ‘Pro-Life’ Republicans in Congress Actually Did Something

Rally on Capitol Hill, January 28, 2015. (Olivier Douliery/Getty)

As both the House and Senate consider bills to defund Planned Parenthood — the abortion giant responsible for hundreds of thousands of grisly child-killings every year — pro-life conservatives should ask the members of Congress who claim to stand with them one, simple question: Are you as dedicated to life as the Democratic party is to death?

The Democrats’ dedication is unquestioned. They are indispensable in providing Planned Parenthood with $528 million of its $1.3 billion annual budget, and they’ve steadfastly defended the group despite an avalanche of evidence of its sheer depravity. Founded by Margaret Sanger, an unapologetic eugenicist, the country’s largest abortion provider still names its premiere award after her. Democratic politicians from Hillary Clinton to Nancy Pelosi have happily accepted that award — tying themselves to a woman who once advocated an “American Baby Code” to guard against the “unfit” and continually sought to create a “cleaner race.”

The list of Planned Parenthood’s wrongful acts is long and bloody. In the latest scandal, one of the organization’s higher-ups was caught on tape apparently trying to sell the organs of aborted babies. In previous undercover stings, Planned Parenthood employees advocated covering up statutory rape, and the group recently paid $4.3 million to settle claims that it fraudulently billed Medicaid for services performed by clinics in Texas. But its greatest crime against humanity is at the core of its business model: it aborts more than 327,000 babies each year, while referring just 1,880 pregnant women to adoption agencies.

Despite its mendacity and criminality, Planned Parenthood never doubts Democratic support. President Obama, for example, has done more than simply ask God to bless Planned Parenthood. He’s threatened to shut down the government if the GOP defunds the organization. The national Democratic party turned an abortion fanatic with a catheter and red tennis shoes into a national pro-choice hero for filibustering to preserve the right to late-term abortions in Texas — never mind the overwhelming public opposition to killing “viable” infants. And let’s not forget that Senate Democrats recently held up a broadly supported sex-trafficking bill for weeks to preserve abortion funding.

#related#Democrats, moreover, have the discipline to appoint federal judges who vote in absolute lockstep to preserve and even expand abortion rights. Republican “dedication” to life, by contrast, has yielded Supreme Court justices who provided the majorities necessary to uphold Roe and, more recently, enjoin Texas’s minimal safeguards on abortion clinics — simply because too many of the charnel houses would be forced to close if they actually properly cared for the women who entered their doors.

Democrats will defy public opinion to defend late-term abortion, while House Republicans recently showed that not even overwhelming public support is enough to convince them to pass a late-term abortion ban on the very day of the March for Life. On Sunday, the Senate’s Republican leaders blocked an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood — preferring instead to push for an August vote that virtually everyone knows the Democrats can and will stop. Senate leaders will likely wash their hands of the whole affair at that point, claiming that they “tried,” but they “just don’t have the votes.” Meanwhile, Democrats will continue to use every parliamentary trick at their disposal to accomplish their objectives.

Since 2010, we’ve heard Republicans lament that they can’t accomplish much while holding only “one-half of one-third” of the government. Now they control one-third, and had Republican presidents been as competent at appointing judges as their Democratic counterparts, conservatives would control two-thirds. I get the distinct feeling that if a Republican president prevails in 2016, the line will be: “We can’t accomplish anything substantial for life until we control all three branches and have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.” Gain the filibuster-proof majority, and they’ll still capitulate in the face of a strongly-worded press release from Salesforce.com.

Not all Republicans lack the stomach for a fight, of course, and there are pro-life heroes on the Hill, but it’s past time for Republican office-holders to, one-by one, be asked that immortal question made famous by the movie Office Space: “What would you say . . . you do here?”

If the answer isn’t “every bit as much to defend life as Democrats do to defend death,” then it’s time for a round of layoffs. Applications are welcome: The pro-life movement is now hiring.

— David French is an attorney and a staff writer at National Review.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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