Late last week the House of Representatives passed the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, H.R. 1, which contains five solidly pro-life pieces of legislation. These legislative changes come as Lila Rose and Live Action continue to expose Planned Parenthood, and people are rising up across the country to hold vigils for the victims of abortion and sex trafficking.

From the Continuing Resolution:

Abortion Funding in the District of Columbia: H.R. 1 restores the Dornan amendment to ensure that no congressionally appropriated funds (whether locally or federally generated) may pay for abortion in the District of Columbia.

Mexico City Policy and UNFPA: H.R. 1 restores the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits funding for foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform elective abortion. H.R. 1 also eliminates funding for UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund), which supports, and participates in China’s one child policy.

Title X Funding: Funding for Title X, the domestic family planning program, is eliminated.

International Population Control and Family Planning Funding: Funding for international family planning/reproductive health is reduced from $648 million in FY10 to $440 million.

Planned Parenthood: No federal funds may be made available to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. (Note that the Pence Amendment passed by a vote of 240-185-1. Video of pro-life speeches in favor of the Pence Amendment can be found on YouTube.

LLDF congratulates the House for taking these steps, and particularly in defunding Planned Parenthood. Although there is still a long way to go, let’s keep hoping and praying that U.S. Senate will follow their lead, as well as all 50 States.

It is no coincidence that the successful vote to defund Planned Parenthood comes just as Live Action has produced evidence of what LLDF clients have maintained for years—when young women enter Planned Parenthood, or for that matter most abortion clinics, far from receiving care, they receive exploitation. Abortion providers exploit vulnerable women, and girls, by selling abortions to make a profit, and at times, by covering for sexual abuse. Now, as never before, people are rising up to shed light on the truth about abortion. This is why LLDF exists—to provide a legal defense for the courageous sidewalk counselors who intercede outside abortion clinics, those who offer true care for women and their children. LLDF seeks to empower and defend these advocates, knowing that this work translates into lives saved from abortion and women saved from exploitation.

With prayer vigils and awareness outreaches continuing outside Planned Parenthood across the country there will no doubt be efforts to remove those engaged in peaceful free speech activities. Please contact LLDF should you be aware of any attempts to deny the First Amendment rights of pro-life advocates. LLDF attorneys stand ready to advise participants of their civil rights, and to represent them in court if need be.

As the conflict over Planned Parenthood’s federal funding and its role in sexual abuse cover-ups continues, please keep praying for another case involving sexual abuse cover-up:Roe v. Planned Parenthood, the civil action for damages and injunctive relief filed against Planned Parenthood for performing an abortion on a fourteen-year-old girl in violation of Ohio law. Claims on behalf of Roe and her parents include violation of the State’s parental notice and consent statutes, informed consent statute, and the law requiring reports in cases of suspected child abuse. Trial is set to begin in February 2011.