Congressman Amash misses prolife opportunities
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 two occasions. Both National Right to Life and Right to Life of Michigan are very concerned about these votes. 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."
After Rep. Amash's first "present" vote when given the opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood, representatives from Right to Life of Michigan met with Rep. Amash to express 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.
Rep. Amash has highlighted his opposition to "laws" which single out one organization. There is one recent law which falls into this category. The original "Defund ACORN Act" passed the U.S. House 345-75 on September 17, 2009, and that was in the Democratic-majority House. The law was appealed by ACORN, but was upheld as constitutional by the Second Circuit United State Court of Appeals. Regardless of what Rep. Amash believes to be unconstitutional, the fact remains that there is nothing unconstitutional about naming a single organization in a bill so long as the bill does not attempt to restrict a constitutionally protected right.
See the Right to Life of Michigan Prolife Action Center for information on the home page about the February 18, 2011, Pence Amendment vote.
Calls to Rep. Justin Amash Needed
RLM encourages all prolife constituents in the 3rd Congressional District to contact Rep. Amash and express their disappointment with his votes not to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
Rep. Justin Amash Contact Information:
Grand Rapids district office:
Washington, D.C. office:
We have provided some ideas for responses but encourage you to express your concerns in your own words. Be firm and courteous.
"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."