(CNSNews.com) -- Some pro-life advocates said they were disappointed with the short-term spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Doanld Trump on Friday, which continues funding for Planned Parenthood. They also expressed frustration with the pending $1 trillion spending package expected to pass this week and keep the government funded through fiscal year 2017 and which also would maintain funding for the abortion provider.
However, the pro-life supporters were optimistic for the long-term and Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn at Priests for Life, said she believes Trump and Congress are "committed to defunding any efforts to abort human beings in the womb here in America."
"In the big picture and the overall scheme of things, I tend not to dwell on disappointments but continue to push the positive truth and the positive agenda," King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., told CNSNews.com. "They need to defund Planned Parenthood, that’s the end of the story.”
The short-term spending deal keeps the government and its programs funded through this Friday, May 5. However, on Sunday, April 30, the GOP-dominant House of Representatives worked out a deal with Democrats to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, 2017. Congress is expected to vote on the estimated $1 trillion package this week and President Trump is expected to sign it. There is no language in the legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and President Donald J. Trump.
(Screenshot images, CNBC.com)
Republicans in the House and Senate have repeatedly stated they want to end all federal funding to the abortion provider. Also, President Trump sent a letter to pro-life groups back in September, stating that he and Vice President Mike Pence were committed to "defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions, and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women."
When asked about Congress' ongoing funding of Planned Parenthood, a group that performed 323,999 abortions in 2014-15, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said, “It’s beyond frustrating that Congress is poised to pass a government funding bill that continues to fund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion vendor and the subject of over a dozen criminal referrals from committees in both the House and Senate."
"The Republican Party is the only party with an anti-abortion platform and whose candidates ran specifically on the promise to defund Planned Parenthood," she said. "Yet, here we are, watching them pass a bill that funds Planned Parenthood even though they control the House, Senate, and White House."
“More innocent lives will be lost at the hands of Planned Parenthood because of broken promises," Hawkins told CNSNews.com. "If Congress refuses to protect women and babies through passage of a healthcare bill that defunds Planned Parenthood or a reconciliation bill that does the same, it will be a betrayal that the GOP will find extensively difficult to overcome when they go back to pro-lifers with the same promises in the next campaign.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said, "With pro-life Republican majorities in both houses, it is incredibly disappointing that any Republican spending bill would contain continued funding for Planned Parenthood. This makes it imperative that Republicans also move quickly on a reconciliation bill that redirects the abortion giant’s funding to community health centers."
"A majority (53.3%) of Americans support redirecting Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to community health centers that offer a full range of primary and preventative care but do not perform or promote abortion," said Dannenfelser in an e-mail to CNSNews.com.
"Women would be better served by these comprehensive health care entities, which outnumber the abortion chain by more than 20 to one nationwide," she said. "Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 320,000 abortions in a single year per their latest annual report, does not need or deserve taxpayer dollars.”
Pro-life activist and author Abby Johnson said she would "continue to work to ensure that Planned Parenthood is defunded in the permanent budget."
Asked if she felt betrayed by the proposed budget package and its continued funding of Planned Parenthood, Alveda King said, “I would not use the word betrayed. I’m not even surprised that political shenanigans continue. I’d be surprised if they did not [continue]."
"But I really just want to urge members of Congress and the president to continue with the promise to defund Planned Parenthood," said King. "Planned Parenthood must be defunded. They are America’s largest abortion provider."
In its most recent annual report, from 2014-15, Planned Parenthood showed a total revenue of $1.29 billion, of which $553.7 million came from "government health services grants & reimbursements," i.e., the taxpayers. The report also showed that Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions that year; in 2013-24, 327,653 abortions; and in 2012-13, Planned Parenthood performed 327,166 abortions.