May 25, 2012/Family Research Council --
Weeks like this one should make us grateful for the times when the Senate does nothing! The more work Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) does, the less secure our values seem to be. Yesterday, during a rare moment of Senate activity, leaders tried to turn an appropriations bill into a permanent repeal of pro-life law. Under Sen. Frank Lautenberg's language, the U.S. would agree to send millions of dollars to international groups whether they provide abortions or not. For years, Presidents have batted the issue back and forth, starting with Ronald Reagan--who first issued the Mexico City Policy to turn off the funding spigots to overseas organizations who promote abortion as "family planning." He understood that the best way to reduce abortions is by cutting off the money to abortion organizations.
Unfortunately, President Clinton disagreed. When he took office, he overturned the policy--which kicked off a pattern of repealing and reinstating that's been repeated by Democratic and Republican Presidents right up to Barack Obama. Since the Mexico City Policy isn't law, its fate has always been determined by the Oval Office. Sen. Lautenberg's amendment would change all that. His measure would make it impossible for a pro-life President to trump the law with an executive order. As far as the Left is concerned, this amendment would guarantee that "this backwards policy never returns and protects access to family planning services for some of the world's poorest women."
Before heading out of town for Memorial Day, he managed to persuade enough members of the Appropriations Committee to pass his amendment 18-12. On the bright side, Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (Nebr.) sided with the GOP. It's just too bad that a trio of squishy Republicans, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), couldn't find the backbone to join him. If there is a silver lining, it's that the lower chamber voted down a similar amendment 23-27 last week. If Sen. Lindsey Graham's comments are any indication, the two sides are setting up a major collision on the overall legislation if this issue isn't resolved. "The House will not accept this," he said. "It will take the bill off into a ditch." From what we know about the Senate's version, that's exactly where it belongs!