Pro-Lifers Call Obamacare Repeal Failure 'Unacceptable'

Failure to defund Planned Parenthood infuriates pro-life groups

Anti-abortion protestors gather at a demonstration outside a Planned Parenthood office on February 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / Getty Images
Anti-abortion protestors gather at a demonstration outside a Planned Parenthood office on Feb. 11, 2017 in Washington, DC / Getty Images
September 26, 2017

Major pro-life groups blasted Republicans for failing to live up to their promise to defund Planned Parenthood after the GOP's last minute attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare failed.

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans failed to gather the votes needed to undo President Obama's healthcare reform using the reconciliation process, which requires a simpler majority. Those measures also included language to redirect the $500 million Planned Parenthood receives each year from taxpayers to women's health centers that do not perform abortion. The death of the measure, the third such attempt since President Trump took office, also ensured that taxpayer dollars would continue to flow to the nation's largest abortion provider.

Pro-life groups said the GOP's failure to defend Planned Parenthood represented a betrayal of its campaign promises. Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, which spent millions to elect Republicans in the 2014 and 2016 elections, called the failure to wrangle the necessary votes "completely unacceptable."

"The failure to pass this reconciliation bill means abortion giant Planned Parenthood remains funded by the taxpayers under a Republican Congress and President," she said in a statement. "This is completely unacceptable."

Planned Parenthood celebrated the failure to pass healthcare reform, emphasizing it would boost its number of patients.

"More than 8,000 people will walk through Planned Parenthood’s doors, still able to access the basic, preventive health care they rely on," it said in a release.

American Life League president Judie Brown said she was not surprised by "Planned Parenthood's celebration over the defeat" of the legislation. Democrats blocked legislation to divert the abortion provider's taxpayer funding to women's health centers in 2015 amid the release of undercover videos exposing its organ harvesting practices. Brown urged pro-life lawmakers to renew the fight.

"We must work harder than ever to defund these bloodthirsty advocates of death by abortion," Brown said.

Dannenfelser called on Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood as a separate measure from Obamacare.

"We call on Congress and the president to include the urgent priority of re-directing Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to comprehensive health care providers in the FY18 reconciliation bill," she said.

The window for passing a reconciliation budget bill will close on Oct. 1.