John McCormack, The Weekly Standard:
In the wake of the undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the trafficking of aborted baby tissue and body parts, the U.S. Senate has scheduled a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s a fine first step by Congress in response to the horror revealed by the Center for Medical Progress’s investigation.
For too long, Planned Parenthood, the billion-dollar “nonprofit” that performs more than 300,000 abortions each year, has been subsidized by American taxpayers. The organization’s defenders argue that the funds Congress seeks to take from Planned Parenthood—and give to community health centers (the bill specifies that federal spending “in support of women’s health” would not decrease)—do not directly pay for abortions. And that’s technically true. But there’s nothing to prevent a Planned Parenthood abortionist from spending half the day dismembering human beings and the other half being paid with federal tax dollars to fill prescriptions for birth control.
As a matter of principle, Congress should stop lining the pockets of abortionists with public money. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that defunding Planned Parenthood will do little to curb the regime of abortion-on-demand in America. Abortion is a lucrative business. Cutting off federal funds for other services would deprive Planned Parenthood of a source of support, but it might not save any lives. There remain at least three more important pro-life priorities.
First, the Senate needs to vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban almost all abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy (20 weeks after conception). An abortionist who operates four blocks from the White House advertises on his website that he will abort human beings for any reason up to 24 weeks after conception. Nearby, doctors and nurses in neo-natal intensive care units work tirelessly to save premature infants who are born at that age and younger. This contradiction ought to be unacceptable.
Recent studies have found that nearly one in four premature infants born at 20 weeks after conception survive long-term. Nearly 90 percent of premature infants born 24 weeks after conception survive long-term.