January 31, 2017
Joni Ernst, the Republican junior senator from Iowa came to Washington, D.C. with a promise to apply her pork-cutting skills to wasteful spending. Just ahead of Friday's March for Life, she announced that Planned Parenthood's war chest was next to get slashed.
On Monday, Ernst introduced a Senate bill eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood and overturning Obama's rule barring states from doing the same. The bill's working title is the "Protect Funding for Women's Healthcare Act," and it will re-direct funding to other eligible women's healthcare providers for important services like diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, immunizations, well-child care, prenatal and postnatal care, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and more.
But Ernst didn't stop there. She's also announced she has a bill ready that will overturn Obama's end-of-term gift to Planned Parenthood: Title X family planning grants. In a last ditch effort to buoy the work of the largest abortion provider in the country, Obama used federal legislation at the end of December to blockade states' ability to determine for themselves who the best family providers for their citizens might be.
Together with Representative Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Ernst co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on Friday in which she noted that the former President's end-run around the will of the people would be reversed. Ernst said that America was in a new era, and told readers: "[W]e will continue to work together this year to undo the damage done by the Obama administration."
Later that day at the March for Life, Ernst took the dais before the enthusiastic crowd, and reminded the marchers that she'd worked to halt federal funding for Planned Parenthood in 2014, but had been unsuccessful. "Back then, we didn't have a president that respected life…Thankfully, today is different. Today, we have a pro-life president! We as a pro-life community honor the civil liberties, independence, and strength of a woman -- all women. And that means both supporting mothers and rising up to protect the most vulnerable in our society -- the innocent babies who are unable to defend themselves."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.