The agreement reached Friday night that averted a government shutdown did not include a defunding of Planned Parenthood in this year's budget (though it does defund abortions in DC). The decision by Republican leaders to drop the clause at this phase of the battle was a tactical decision that is being both defended and criticized by some in the prolife movement.
So what's the next phase of the battle? Well, the agreement does force Senate Majority Leader Reid to hold a debate and vote on the defunding measure on Thursday. Even if it does not pass, it will put every Senator on record as to whether they want to privatize Planned Parenthood or force the taxpayers to continue subsidizing the abortion industry.
Meanwhile the House will start fleshing out the details on next year's (FY 2012) budget following the outline of Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's plan. As this will require asking citizens to make genuine sacrifices of some of the benefits of many government programs, it is a no-brainer that defunding PP should be at the top of the list.
Both of these steps will continue to engage grassroots prolife citizens to continue to fight for this needed legislative change. But if this doesn't happen, the grassroots "boots on the ground" will be engaged in the great struggle nest year to make some drastically needed personnel changes, particularly in the White House and in the Senate.
At the same time, I've been reminded by a good friend who is strongly committed to prayer, sidewalk-counseling and the 40 Days for Life campaign that many of us are already involved in a ground level campaign that can help defund Planned Parenthood even before our nation's leaders make the right decision. As she says it so well, "Let's Defund PP one client at a time through our prayers, our love and our presence!"