Senators who voted down a bill to defund Planned Parenthood just hours after welcoming Pope Francis with open arms to speak in their chambers are hypocrites, the Rev. Franklin Graham says.
"The hypocrisy of our Senate never ceases to amaze me," the evangelist said on his Facebook
page. "They welcomed Pope Francis into their chambers with a standing ovation and then within hours they voted down the bill to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that not only murders innocent children in their mothers' wombs but is also guilty of selling body parts from these babies."
He pointed out that the "the first pontiff in U.S. history to address Congress" reminded lawmakers of mankind's "responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”
Americans must call abortion "what it is — murder; and we need lawmakers and leaders who are brave enough to stand and fight for human life," he wrote.
In Saturday's GOP address
, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn said Pope Francis' words calling for lawmakers to uphold the responsibility to protect life has strengthened Republicans' resolve to hold Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers accountable and to defend unborn children.
House Republicans plan to ramp up oversight and investigative practices, including starting a new select subcommittee to focus its attention on getting to the bottom of the practices revealed in a series of undercover sting videos that purportedly show Planned Parenthood officials making deals for the sale of aborted babies' tissue and other body organs.
On Thursday, Senate Democrats, joined by some Republicans, blocked efforts to deny
federal funds for the women's healthcare group, making a move to help avoid a government shutdown over the issue on Oct. 1.
Most Senate Republicans had supported the plan to attach the Planned Parenthood defunding to a bill keeping government operating with the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1, but 42 Democrats, two independents and eight Republicans banded together to stop the anti-abortion effort. That marked 11 more votes than the 41 needed to block the legislation.
But one of the Republicans, Arkansas' Tom Cotton, said he voted against the bill in order to protest inadequate military funding.
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