Pro-life groups target Boehner, demand end to Planned Parenthood’s federal funding

Patrick Howley | Political Reporter

Two pro-life organizations are directly targeting Republican House Speaker John Boehner with a fierce new campaign, urging him to delay any new votes on the debt ceiling until the federal government stops funding Planned Parenthood.

“Why are we going into debt to kill innocent Americans?” asks a new 30-second ad from LifeCausePAC, which will air heavily in Boehner’s Ohio congressional district during the next six weeks.

“Mr. Speaker, you have the power to stop all of this. Please lead this nation in cutting the debt and saving babies. No more votes on the debt ceiling until we end borrowing for baby killing,” the ad declares.


LifeCausePAC and another organization, ProLifeNation, are also placing 250,000 phone calls to pressure Boehner to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. And the groups are planning a major demonstration in Boehner’s Ohio district.

The pro-life groups aim to pressure Boehner to reintroduce the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which passed the Republican-controlled House in 2011 but died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Their effort is distinctive for connecting the Republican fiscal platform to its traditional social platform, with a stated goal of holding up debt-ceiling votes until the House addresses social issues.

This latest venture underscores the friction between Boehner and the conservative right, and highlights social conservatives’ efforts to maintain their place in the Republican platform during Obama’s second term.

Despite campaigning for the speakership in 2010 as a staunch pro-life advocate, Boehner, a Catholic, has been pilloried by previous attacks from the pro-life community.

Catholic University of America faculty and other theologians sent Boehner a sharply worded letter in 2011 criticizing his budget’s cutting of the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program, which they view as a safeguard against abortion. The theologians described Boehner’s policies as “anti-life.”

Planned Parenthood received $542 million from the federal government in fiscal year 2012, an 11 percent increase, while also performing nearly 334,000 abortions in 2011. Planned Parenthood reported net incomes of more than $1.2 billion and excess revenues of $87 million last year. It also mandated that all local affiliates begin performing abortion procedures in 2013.

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