Votes to Continue Funding Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare Expected to Prove Costly in 2012

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Several high-profile bills, including one to defund Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare, were defeated in the U.S. Senate yesterday, with many saying those Senators who voted against the bills should expect to be haunted by their votes in the upcoming election.

The Hill is reporting that the Senate rejected resolutions that would bar federal funds from implementing the new healthcare law, and to block funding for Planned Parenthood. The measure to defund Planned Parenthood was defeated 42-58 and ObamaCare funding was kept in place after a 47-53 vote.

Both measures were brought to a vote at the insistence of pro-life House Republicans who demanded the vote in exchange for cutting the resolutions out of the budget bill.

Even though the bills failed, House Republicans are reportedly glad to have forced many vulnerable Senate Democrats to cast votes that will make them unpopular at home and are expected to become a major issue in the 2012 campaign.

For instance, West Virginia’s Senator Joe Manchin, who famously ran an ad during his election campaign depicting him shooting a bullet through the health care reform act, voted against cutting the funds that will enable it to be implemented. Senators Joe Tester (D-MT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) also voted against the bill even though it is hugely unpopular in their respective states.

The few Senate Republicans who voted against banning taxpayer funds for Planned Parenthood are also facing backlash at home. Senators Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), Olympia Snow (ME), Mark Kirk (IL) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) broke from their party and voted against the ban. Browne and Snowe are both up for re-election next year where they are expected to face stiff challenges from tea party conservatives.

Pro-life powerhouses such as the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) have already announced their plans to make sure constituents know how their Senators voted. The SBA List announced today that it intends to target Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) with targeted radio ads featuring testimony from former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Abby Johnson about Planned Parenthood’s corporate plans to expand the number of abortions performed in their clinics to make more money. The ad will ask constituents to contact their senator to voice disapproval over his or her vote.

“Votes have consequences, especially for politicians who say one thing at home and do another in Washington when it comes to protecting Life,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “As self-described ‘pro-life’ Democrats, Sens. Nelson and Casey betrayed their constituents by voting for taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Claire McCaskill, a supposed ‘moderate,’ will have a hard time justifying to her constituents why she voted to continue giving their tax dollars to America’s largest abortion provider during a time of fiscal crisis. Funding an organization that flaunts federal law and cares nothing for the safety of women and young girls makes no fiscal sense, especially at a time when our country is in fiscal peril.

“The SBA List promised to watch closely as vulnerable senators cast these important votes and we are following through. Voter education starts today. Constituents in Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Missouri will hold these politicians accountable for their votes.”

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