By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
U.S. Senator Bob Casey tries to make the case that casting a vote against a Planned Parenthood defunding amendment shows him to be pro-life. The mental gymnastics required for this audacious statement are truly mind-boggling.
Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion operation, receives more than a half-billion hard-earned taxpayer dollars each year. Any organization that garners that much in taxpayer revenue should be under scrutiny. But when that organization's high-ranking doctors are caught on camera blithely discussing the harvesting of baby body parts while dining on salad and imbibing wine...haggling over the price of baby organs while talking about dreams of Lamborghinis...and discussing altering abortion procedures to procure intact hearts, livers, and brains...wouldn't you think twice about giving the giant non-profit more money? Especially if you say you're pro-life?
The undercover videos of Planned Parenthood released by the Center for Medical Progress have been a game-changer. The old argument that the Senator uses-that he opposes abortion but supports the rest of Planned Parenthood's operations-just won't work anymore. The Congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood's activities continues. Questions have arisen as to not only whether Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the sale of baby body parts, but also whether it has violated the federal Partial-Birth Abortion ban and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
Let's take a closer look at the Senator's contention that Planned Parenthood should be federally funded because of its non-abortion activities. To begin with, contrary to popular belief, Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms, as confirmed by news outlets such as the Washington Post. And according to information obtained from Planned Parenthood's own annual reports, cancer screening and prevention programs at its facilities declined by about half from 2009 to 2013.
Moreover, the legislation which Senator Casey opposed would have re-directed federal Planned Parenthood funds to federally qualified health centers. As female Senator and prime sponsor Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) stated in a news release, the measure would have channeled "federal funding taken from Planned Parenthood to other eligible entities that provide health services for women, and guarantees that there is absolutely no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women's health."
Community health centers perform the services that Planned Parenthood does-without performing abortions. Therefore, Senator Casey's vote was not a vote for women's health-it was a vote in solidarity with Planned Parenthood.
According to National Right to Life's Congressional scorecard for 2013-14, Senator Casey voted the pro-life position only 20 percent of the time. He cannot claim the name pro-lifer when 80 percent of his votes are anti-life.
Senator Casey cannot have it both ways. He cannot stand with Planned Parenthood and declare that he is pro-life. His father, the much-respected former Governor of Pennsylvania, Robert Casey, was willing to stand up to party bosses in defense of human life. His son should follow his example.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation or to support them in their work, use this link.