Trump failed to defund Planned Parenthood, repeal Obamacare. What now?

Fr. Mark Hodges

Document Publication:

Publication Date: April 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — After President Trump’s replacement for ObamaCare failed to garner enough votes in the House, President Trump admonished members of his party and told them to "get on board."

Trump lobbied doubters, but in the end, several Republicans refused to vote for his plan. Among them were members of the House Freedom Caucus, who felt the plan didn't go far enough to rid the country of socialized medicine.

Pro-life organizations expressed concerns over loopholes in Trump's healthcare plan that could be used to fund abortion with taxpayer dollars.

It was a tough defeat for the Trump administration within his "honeymoon period" during the first 100 days in office. Politicians on all sides immediately pointed fingers at others.

This week, Trump blamed Freedom Caucus members for his healthcare plan being indefinitely shelved and said he would oppose them in 2018 elections.

The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017

Earlier in the week, the president began his attack on the Freedom Caucus, which is composed of about three dozen Representatives in his party: “Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!”

Response was swift from 20 Ohio pro-life and conservative groups, who wrote a letter to the president politely asking him to back off.  

“Please work with members of the Freedom Caucus, not against them,” the gentle rebuke urged. The letter was signed by State Representatives Nino Vitale (District 85) and Candice Keller (District 53), Janet Folger Porter of Faith2Action, local Republican party leaders, Right to Life Society leaders, tea party leaders, and Trump campaign workers. characterized the letter as indicating "conservatives will not sit quietly on the sidelines if Trump abandons hard-core GOP principals."

Pro-life organizations across the country offered a mixed reaction. Some were outraged  and some cautiously tempered.

"This is a curious strategy for President Trump to adopt," Capital Research Center senior vice president Matthew Vadum told LifeSiteNews. "The House Freedom Caucus has become the conservative conscience in Congress, and to treat them as the enemy is bizarre and ill-advised. This cannot end well."

Vadum said Trump needs to stay true to those who voted him into office.

"The president should never forget that conservatives got him elected,” he said. “It's not their fault that he backed a lousy, incompetently drafted healthcare bill that contained only crumbs for conservatives and didn't actually repeal the atrocity that is ObamaCare."

Vadum advised Trump to "step back, take a deep breath, and rise to the occasion. He should become the conservative Commander-in-Chief that America so desperately needs after the era of moral darkness that the Obama administration foisted on the country."

For most pro-life organizations, the most important failure last week was the failure to defund the nation's largest abortion conglomerate.

"Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded by any means possible and Congress needs to keep their promise to do so," Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins told LifeSiteNews. "This is something many, many Republicans ran on and campaigned on and it needs to be done immediately."

Hawkins believes that those who stand for the sanctity of innocent human life must speak out, and speak out now.

"Pro-lifers should put pressure on their elected officials to keep their promises," she said.  "Every day they keep sending checks to Planned Parenthood is another 888 lives lost."

Priests for Life's Fr. Stephen Imbarrato agrees.

"The majority party has had years to come up with a plan to replace ObamaCare and rally the troops to get it done. This is classic political nonsense, not really ever serious about solving problems or dealing with issues important to their base," Fr. Imbarrato told LifeSiteNews."Maybe they talk the talk on pro-life issues, but they really care very little about taking the steps necessary to end pre-born child killing."

The priest rhetorically asked all pro-lifers, "When are we going to realize that until we unite and exert our will on this immoral and corrupt government, nothing is going to change?" he challenged. "The elected class only understands one thing — political power.  (Pro-lifers) need to get united and acquire the will necessary to exert political power over the collective immoral elected class."

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