UPDATE 4/12, 8:52a: It has also occurred to me that this concession by Obama and the Democrats demonstrates their bond with Planned Parenthood is not impermeable. I’m sure PP was not at all happy about this. But apparently Obama/Democrats felt forced to give Republicans a bone on PP.

4/11, 1:20p: While pro-lifers lament Planned Parenthood wasn’t defunded in the final 2011 budget, Harry Reid and Barack Obama threw 7 Senate Democrats under the bus in the process.

Reid and Obama agreed to let the Senate have an up or down vote on defunding PP. We already know such a vote will fail, since 41 Democrats signed a letter on April 4 saying they’d oppose such a measure, making it bullet-proof.

But House Majority Leader John Boehner’s strategy is to force so-called Democrat moderates to go on the record,  potentially getting ammo for the 2012 elections.

“Clearly a handful of ‘pro-life’ Democrats’ are in the toughest spot on the vote,” LifeNews.com’s Steve Ertelt wrote me. “ Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania all face tough re-election matchups in 2012, and if any of the 3 cave in to PP and vote against yanking its taxpayer funding will face an even more intense opposition from pro-life voters.”

Such a vote would also make a primary challenger that much more likely. Of note is none of those 3 senators signed the aforementioned letter.

Ertelt continued, “Other Democrats who are pro-abortion but are looking at very competitive Senate races are also going to be watched very closely by pro-life groups. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jon Tester of Montana, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio are 4 who will see more motivated pro-life voters working to re-elect them if they vote for funding this massive abortion business.”

Of note is all 4 of those senators signed the aforementioned letter. I’m sure they never expected they’d have to put their votes where their mouths were.

Ertelt also noted that a Republican senator, Dick Lugar of Indiana, is at risk on this vote. “Despite his status as someone who normally votes pro-life, Lugar has already upset pro-life advocates with his vote for the Supreme Court nomination of pro-abortion Elena Kagan,” Ertelt wrote. “He is vulnerable to a challenge from the right from pro-life State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. A vote to fund PP would likely erase whatever pro-life support he has left among Hoosier voters.”

Actually, Obama and Reid also threw PP under the bus by agreeing to Boehner’s demand. A vote in the Senate to defund PP keeps it in the news, further tarnishing its brand.

Ertelt called Boehner’s strategy “brilliant,” explaining it will give pro-lifers fodder for the 2012 elections. “It sets up the pro-life movement to know where these and other senators stand for use in defeating them in the 2012 elections,” wrote Ertelt. “It gives us the ability to make the changes we need to capture the Senate and vote next time around to defund PP. Without this vote, it would have been more difficult to know where we stand and where we need to go to make this happen.”

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