Our U.S. Congressman from the 3rd District, Justin Amash, failed to join fellow prolife U.S. Representatives to stop tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood and instead cast a vote of "present" on the recent Pence Amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Both National Right to Life and Right to Life of Michigan are very concerned about this vote as it effectively was a "no" vote. Rep. Amash voted "present" despite communications from National Right to Life and Right to Life of Michigan members. In addition, Rep. Amash had previously committed to "support all efforts to eliminate tax funds for any organizations and institutions which perform, promote, counsel or refer to abortion."
Representatives from Right to Life recently met with Rep. Amash to express our deep concern with his vote.
Rep. Amash explained that he could not vote for the bill as written because it expressly mentioned a particular organization - Planned Parenthood - which he felt was not lawful, and in voting "present," he felt he was taking a principled position. Prior to the Pence Amendment vote, National Right to Life provided information to Rep. Amash on the legality of this amendment approach.
Also, although Rep. Amash supports, instead, HR217 to de-fund Planned Parenthood, as he claims this is a stronger of the two bills, this does not seem to be correct as HR 217 only denies Planned Parenthood Title X funds whereas the Pence Amendment denies Planned Parenthood ALL federal funding.
We believe this is a defining vote for all prolife supporters, and we have encouraged Rep. Amash to re-consider his vote if and when the opportunity arises once again.
RLM encourages all prolife constituents in the 3rd Congressional District to contact Rep. Amash and express their disappointment with his vote on the Pence Amendment. Rep. Amash's Grand Rapids' district office number is: (616) 451-8383; his D.C. number is (202) 225-3831.
We have provided some ideas for responses but encourage you to express your concerns in your own words.
* "I want to express my disappointment with Rep. Amash's vote on the Pence Amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood. I am prolife and believe we should make every effort to deny our tax dollars to the largest abortion provider in the country."
* "I am prolife and want to express my disappointment with Rep. Amash's vote of 'present' on the Pence Amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood. I believe he should have voted 'yes' even if Planned Parenthood was named in the bill."
* "I am disappointed that Rep. Amash didn't vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood in the Pence Amendment. I feel his vote of 'present' was a missed opportunity to stand up for the unborn despite his explanation as a rule of law."
* "I want to register my displeasure with Rep. Amash's vote on the Pence Amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood. I feel his explanation is a feeble attempt to justify a vote against denying funds for the largest abortion provider in the country."
Please remember to be courteous but firm. See the RLM web site, www.rtl.org, for information on the home page about the February 18th Pence Amendment vote. Thank you on behalf of the unborn.