Donald Trump | Wiki­media

After Donald Trump won the 2016 pres­i­dential election, many con­ser­v­a­tives were under­standably skep­tical of what a Trump pres­i­dency would bring. The past two years have been a mixed bag of demeanor, rhetoric, and public policy, but, oddly enough, the pres­ident has been remarkably strong in his com­mitment to pro-life issues. Unfor­tu­nately, the same cannot be said for the GOP-con­trolled Con­gress.

Since Trump’s inau­gu­ration, con­gres­sional Repub­licans have passed spending bills including funding for Planned Par­enthood three times. Their latest anti-life trans­gression occurred two weeks ago when Senate Repub­licans blocked Sen. Rand Paul’s (R‑Ky.)  amendment to the Senate appro­pri­a­tions package for Defense, Labor, Health and Human Ser­vices, and Edu­cation, which would have com­pletely blocked all federal funding to any entity that pro­vides abor­tions. Rather than staying true to their pro-life cam­paign promises, Senate Repub­licans tor­pedoed Paul’s amendment calling it a “poison pill” that would lead Senate Democrats to fil­i­buster the entire budget pro­posal. Repub­lican Sen­ators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine along with sup­posedly pro-life Democrats Joe Don­nelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Vir­ginia voted against the amendment, ulti­mately leading to it not being included in the final bill.

But this cow­ardly attitude is nothing new for a Repub­lican Party that seems better suited as an oppo­sition party rather than one in power. With the 2018 midterms looming, Repub­lican can­di­dates across the country proudly tout pro-life mes­sages, while at the same time voting to fund an orga­ni­zation that ends a life through abortion once every 98 seconds in the United States.

Planned Par­enthood receives 40 percent of its annual budget, or $543 million a year from federal funds. And although Planned Par­enthood and its sup­porters proudly claim that no federal funding goes directly towards abor­tions, anyone with a shred of common sense under­stands that sub­si­dization of the abortion giant allows for far more abor­tions to occur than would oth­erwise be pos­sible without tax­payer money.

Aside from the sys­tematic exter­mi­nation of the unborn, Planned Par­enthood is also an active political donor. Last year alone, they spent $75.6 million on “movement building” along with another $128.3 million on an assortment of political activ­ities. This alone should worry people on all sides of the aisle, but alas, those that shout the loudest about money in pol­itics are silent when it comes to orga­ni­za­tions and causes with which they agree.

It’s sad, but the cow­ardice of Repub­licans is not sur­prising. For years, they have cam­paigned on the necessity of voting them into office to protect the unborn, but now that they’re in, their sense of urgency seems to have been lost some­where between the col­lection of their tax­payer funded salaries and life-long pen­sions.

Ded­i­cated con­ser­v­a­tives have spent the past decade cam­paigning, donating, and voting for these politi­cians who claimed to share the goals of the pro-life movement. These elected offi­cials claimed to care about the innocent, but under their watch 881 of the most vul­nerable among us die every day because of their self­ishness and cow­ardice. If an elected official cannot muster the courage to stop directly funding an orga­ni­zation as vile as Planned Par­enthood, they have no business tor­pe­doing the pro-life movement by con­sid­ering them­selves within our ranks.

Erik Halverson is a senior studying eco­nomics.