BLOGPresident Obama Can’t Veto the Pro-Life Movement

By Casey Mattox Posted on: | January 08, 2016

President Obama had an opportunity no other president has ever had. No president has ever been presented with a bill to stop Planned Parenthood’s corporate welfare and redirect those funds to the thousands of better, more trustworthy, low-cost health care options for women and families.  While the House of Representatives has voted numerous times to defund the nation’s largest abortionist, the Senate’s rules have allowed a minority of Senators defending the abortion business to prevent that chamber from even holding the vote. 

Until now.

After the historic Senate vote in December, on Wednesday the House approved a bill that would cut the $550 million annual taxpayer subsidy to Planned Parenthood and repeal key parts of Obamacare. Americans have never been so close to ending their compelled partnership with Planned Parenthood, which spends tens of millions on marketing and advertising and many millions more getting political cronies elected and re-elected—at the same time it is seeing fewer patients and drastically reducing services. For the first time in history, the President’s signature is all that prevented such a bill from becoming law.

Unfortunately, there was little drama about what President Obama would do. He had already announced that he would veto the bill. In fact, it is difficult to imagine any bill redirecting any taxpayer subsidies away from Planned Parenthood that this president would sign. As he has made clear, President Obama (and a minority in Congress) would shut down the entire government to protect Planned Parenthood’s access to our tax dollars. Planned Parenthood has spent millions supporting President Obama’s two campaigns, and it has now endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, the first presidential primary endorsement in its history. If anything, the abortion business that profits off our taxpayer dollars is more committed than ever to spending its sizeable excess revenues to elect politicians who will keep the cash coming.

But pro-lifers should be encouraged. The fact that President Obama had to actually veto this bill, not just threaten, is historic. When one day (soon) Planned Parenthood can no longer demand that every American be complicit in its business, the historic vote will have been a key step toward making that day happen. After many years of effort by many pro-life Americans to shed the light on Planned Parenthood and demand that Congress act, we have real progress. Congress has proven that it can get this done—and eliminated any excuse for it not defunding Planned Parenthood and repealing Obamacare in the future. All that is missing is a single vote—the one in the White House.

This year, we will vote to replace President Obama. Many Americans will be praying and working to ensure that the person replacing him is one who will use his or her pen to end Planned Parenthood’s annual undeserved windfall. Congress will also have, and should take, many other opportunities this year to stop sending our tax dollars to scandal-plagued organization with a long track record of abusive and potentially fraudulent billing practices, caught in authenticated undercover videos trafficking aborted babies’ body parts, and which has repeatedly failed to report the sexual abuse of girls.

But, until that day comes, the pro-life movement should be encouraged by the historic vote, renewing our resolve to continue to educate our friends and neighbors on the truth about Planned Parenthood. This should also encourage us to continue to call for defunding Planned Parenthood in our states. The states have led on Planned Parenthood defunding and state legislatures just now coming into session will have more opportunities to send our taxpayer dollars to more deserving providers. Tell your elected representatives that it’s time to stop subsidizing the abortion industry.

This should also inspire us to March for Life in Washington, D.C. on January 22, the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Yes, the media ignores it every year. But if you haven’t joined the half million or more Marching for Life before, this is a great year to start. Use your feet to make sure that the media and D.C. politicians know that the pro-life movement is more energized than ever before.    

And if you can’t March in D.C., attend a local event or pray outside a local abortion facility and be an instrument of truth to someone who needs to hear it. Social media activism is great. But it can’t match pro-life boots on the ground.  

No one said ending taxpayer subsidies for a billion dollar abortion business that bankrolls its defenders’ campaigns would be easy. But Wednesday's vote should encourage us that the goal is closer than it has ever been before. And we have reason for optimism as we continue our work to defend life in 2016. President Obama can veto this bill. But he can’t veto the pro-life movement.     

Casey Mattox

Senior Counsel, Director of the Center for Academic Freedom

Casey Mattox, Esq., serves as senior counsel and the director of the Center for Academic Freedom with Alliance Defending Freedom.

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