U.S. News & World Report: Pressure Mounts on Defunding Planned Parenthood Over Abortion

This article first appeared online at U.S. News & World Report on March 1, 2011.

Pressure Mounts on Defunding Planned Parenthood Over Abortion
By Peter Roff

Just about two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives, as part of the continuing resolution to fund the operations of the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year, adopted a measure that cuts off funding to Planned Parenthood, by some estimates the nation’s largest provider of abortions.

The continuing resolution is not yet law–meaning the ban is not in effect and that the groups who support it have to keep fighting to ensure that they carry the day once the dust has settled. [See a slide show of 10 effects of a federal government shutdown.]

One of those groups, the Susan B. Anthony List, has announced it will conduct a 14-stop grassroots tour and $200,000 ad campaign to keep the issue alive. Beginning today, SBA-List is kicking off a “Women Speaking Out” campaign that includes television and radio ad buys thanking members of Congress “who stood up for women, young girls and taxpayers” by voting to support Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment to cut off taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood through Sept. 30, 2011.

The campaign will continue the following week with a grassroots tour through the districts of those pro-life members of Congress and will target representatives who voted against the amendment, the group said.

“There is one word that grassroots America articulated over and over when it comes to use of its tax dollars for objectionable purposes, and that word is a resounding ‘no,’” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a release. “As we look at funding for Planned Parenthood, that word is being repeated across the country. Americans reject the idea that they would be forced into an alliance with sex traffickers and those who put the needs of women and young girls last. This campaign is a reminder of what this last election was all about.” [Check out a roundup of this month’s political cartoons.]

The campaign kicked-off with a four-day $75,000 television and online ad buy throughout New York’s 25th congressional district and the Syracuse-area thanking freshman GOP Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle for her vote in favor of the Pence amendment.

Among those who will be targeted for failing to support the Pence amendment are Iowa’s Leonard Boswell and Bruce Braley, Massaschusetts’ Bill Keating, Rhode Island’s David Cicilline, Pennsylvania’s Jason Altmire, Ohio’s Marcy Kaptur and New York’s Maurice Hinchey and Bill Owens.

The 30-second spot will air 182 times over four days and can be viewed here. Later in the week, the SBA-List said, the ad is scheduled to go up in Illinois’ 8th and 14th congressional districts, New Hampshire’s 2nd, and Pennsylvania’s 7th and 8th congressional districts.

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