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UPDATE: Shulte comments on defund Planned Parenthood resolution

Baby 3

Update 3: Loras Shulte, a member of the RPI State Central Committee, was said to have spoken out strongly in support of the defund Planned Parenthood resolution. He explained why this morning.

 

By Bob Eschliman
Editor

 

By a nearly unanimous vote, the Republican Party of Iowa’s State Central Committee voted to approve a resolution calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood this afternoon.

There was one dissenting vote, although members of the SCC wouldn’t specify which committee member it was, from a member who questioned whether or not it was appropriate for the central committee to pass a resolution. During the course of discussion over the importance of the issue, it was clear that all of the SCC members were supportive of an effort to defund Planned Parenthood, according to several committee members who spoke about the vote on condition of anonymity.

The resolution, offered by committee member David Chung, read as follows:

Whereas, the Platform of the Republican Party of Iowa has consistently recognized the sanctity of human life and the personhood of the unborn, and

Whereas, recent information has indicated that Planned Parenthood may be illegally profiting from the sale of baby parts,

We, the Republican Party of Iowa, acknowledge and applaud the past and ongoing efforts of Governor Branstad and the Republican caucuses in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate to advance the cause of life, stand with them in their efforts, and now encourage them to remove all state and state-controlled funding from Planned Parenthood as soon as possible using all means and methods at their disposal, including all funding for non-abortion related services.

The passage of the resolution follows a curiously timed report on the front page of The Des Moines Register today that stated Gov. Terry Branstad’s review of state funding showed no taxpayer dollars going to support Planned Parenthood. However, as has been pointed out numerous times, any taxpayer funding that goes to Planned Parenthood aids in funding abortions due to the fungibility of money in any form.

For example: without any other funding source, private donations to Planned Parenthood are used to pay for the facility space, the electricity, the heat, and the phones before they can be used to offset the expense of abortion procedures. But when the state gives them a federal block grant — even with the stipulation those funds can’t be used to subsidize abortion procedures — they move the money around.

The block grant pays for the facility, electricity, heat, and phones, and then the private donations offset the cost of the abortion procedures they perform. Taxpayers are still subsidizing the abortions, but it doesn’t look like it when one audits the books.

During the May 20, 2010, GOP gubernatorial debate televised on Iowa Public Television, Branstad said he would like to “completely defund” Planned Parenthood, if he were to be elected governor (CLICK HERE to see the video). The Register’s report today indicates that Planned Parenthood currently receives approximately $2.7 million per year from the State of Iowa, mostly through Medicaid funding.

The defunding effort was spurred by the release of several investigative journalism videos by the Center for Medical Progress that shows Planned Parenthood officials, both nationally and locally, negotiating the sale of body parts from aborted babies, which is a violation of federal law (CLICK HERE to see CMP’s YouTube channel). A group of Republican legislators has asked Attorney General Tom Miller to investigate Planned Parenthood, but Miller said no state law exists that makes what is depicted in the videos illegal and that he lacks the jurisdiction to investigate federal crimes.

Chung made the following comments after the meeting:

“Some have questioned why the RPI State Central Committee should pass a resolution on defunding Planned Parenthood. Some may even ask how this helps to elect Republicans.
“My answer is that the Republican Party of Iowa is the Pro-Life Party for nearly two decades, our state platform has been pro-life. Some years ago, as chairman of the State Platform Committee, I re-ordered the sections of the platform so that pro-life issues were no longer a part of the Health and Human Services section but they would now be grouped together into a section called ‘The Right to  Life.’ When Iowa Republicans gather to craft a platform every two years, I didn’t want the discussion to be whether we are pro-life. I want the discussion to be ‘what pro-life positions do we want to put in the platform.’ Subsequent committees have made Life the first issue in the platform.
“The 2016 elections are vital, not just the presidency, but building our Iowa House majority and breaking the logjam in the Iowa Senate so we can bring about real change. The first thing we as Republican need to do is communicate to grassroots Republicans that we care about the issues they care about.To let them know that we (the party) and their elected officials are will to fight and work for the core issues that unite us.
“The recent videos suggest that Planned Parenthood’s practices are not just heinous but may even be illegal. Despite an attempt in the mainstream media to suppress it, there is a buzz, certainly in Iowa. People are talking about Planned Parenthood and these videos. The pro-life community is a spectrum from the purist all-or-nothing crowd to those willing to support incremental change or those who would call themselves ‘pro-life with exceptions’. But all of these groups, and some who would not consider themselves pro-life at all, agree that the actions of Planned Parenthood are abhorrent.
“This is an opportunity to stand up and do the right thing. I would advocate defunding Planned Parenthood even without having seen the videos. But now it is possible to have this discussion with a broader cross-section of voters. 
“It is always the right time to do the right thing, but this is an exceptionally opportune time to speak out and let Governor Branstad and our House and Senate GOP caucuses know that we want them to act and when they do we will have their backs!”
Loras Shulte, another member of the SCC, was said to have been an outspoken supporter of the resolution during the meeting. One other member said he gave a “moving” and “impassioned” speech to his fellow committee members. This morning, he further explained his support for the measure:

“I would echo David’s comments and simply add: the videos regarding planned parenthood’s business practices, when it comes to the disposal of the bodies of the unborn children whose lives they have taken, confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, in my mind, what I believed has been going on since the mid 90’ and the introduction of the abominable practice of “partial-birth” abortion.

“There are so many upstanding women’s health providers and crisis pregnancy centers  in our State and across our Country that there is no reasonable explanations for giving government tax dollars to any abortion provider… no matter what other minimal services they might offer.”

Earlier today, the Republican Party of Iowa sent out a press release regarding the resolution. According to the release, the SCC “voted on Saturday to support efforts by Governor Branstad and Republican legislators” to defund Planned Parenthood in Iowa, “taking a bold stance to protect innocent life from destruction and sale.”

“We could not sit by silently after learning more about Planned Parenthood’s horrific practices,” RPI Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in the release. “For years Republican legislators and Governor Branstad have fought to remove state funding from Planned Parenthood, and it’s important for the Republican Party of Iowa to show that we have their backs in this fight.”

The release also quoted RPI C0-Chair Cody Hoefert, who said: “We’ve all seen the videos, which show Planned Parenthood employees dismembering our most vulnerable and selling their body parts. Now is the time for us to all work together — with renewed vigor — to defund this immoral practice and ensure every life is treated with its God-given dignity.”