WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is taking part in his first meeting with the congressional Pro-Life Caucus Monday evening.
It might be a bit like a reunion since some of the Caucus members were his closest allies in past years. During his 2001-2013 tenure as a congressman from Indiana, Pence was a leading advocate against abortion.
A former staffer of the Caucus explained that its members have been seeking this meeting since the Trump-Pence ticket won the election in November, so the agenda will probably be broad.
Top Topic? Repeal & Replace
But the new health care plan is likely to be the main topic, especially since Obamacare put abortion support front and center, something the Pro-Life Caucus definitely wants to see reversed in the new health care plan.
And Pence will be armed with the latest news about that still-evolving plan, having just met earlier Monday with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., one of the most prominent advocates for the Obamacare replacement.
The House of Representatives may try voting on the new plan as soon as this Thursday, which just happens to be the seventh anniversary of Obamacare’s passage into law. But House Pro-Life Caucus member Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., says the bill’s shapers are still taking input and advice from people.
“I’ll be at the White House tomorrow for a meeting with the vice president, and there’s input right now being given,” Pittenger told MSNBC this weekend.
“But at the end of the day I think we’re going to come together and pass a great health bill that will allow individuals to take over their health care again and take it out of government mandates.”
Offensive Obamacare Mandates
Some of Obamacare’s mandates were particularly offensive to Pro-Life Caucus members and other abortion opponents across the country. One of those mandates forced even pro-life business owners and nuns, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, to cover abortifacient contraceptive purchases through their health care plans.
Owners of Hobby Lobby took the battle all the way to a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Also, despite assurances from former President Barack Obama that it wouldn’t happen, Obamacare presented hundreds of plans that would pay for abortion itself. That was despite the Hyde Amendment being passed every year in Congress since the late 1970s, an amendment that specifically forbids the government directly or indirectly funding abortions.
Another offense to pro-lifers: taxpayer funding of more than $500,000,000 a year to Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion-provider in the land. It kills more than 320,000 unborn babies a year, a third of those put to death in America.
Pro-Lifers Hope They’re All on the Same Page
Pro-life advocacy groups tell CBN News they hope Caucus lawmakers meeting with the vice president will convey the same message these advocacy groups have in earlier meetings with Pence and Price.
As one advocate put it, “Defunding Planned Parenthood and making sure the abortion industry gets no money through the ‘replace Obamacare’ plan are essential to pro-life support of the bill.”
Rep. Pittenger has reassuring words for them.
In a statement to CBN News, he said, “At today’s meeting with Vice President Pence, we will review the legislative process to ensure pro-life issues are protected and no taxpayer funding is available for abortions.”