By the end of September, when fiscal 2011 ends, House Speaker John Boehner must answer a simple yet profound question: Will he lead a Republican-controlled House of Representatives in enacting government funding bills for fiscal 2012 that allow tax dollars to flow to a group that kills an average of 910 unborn babies per day?
Boehner ought to say: No way. Case closed.
Because Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution says that "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law," a voting majority of the House has veto power over federal spending items.
If the appropriations bills for fiscal 2012 prohibit the president from taking taxpayers' money and giving it to a group that does abortions, the president cannot do it.
But will the Republican-majority House, led by Boehner, exercise that authority when it enacts the bills to keep the government running after Sept. 30?
In this fiscal year, Boehner caved -- and permitted funding of Planned Parenthood.
In 2009, according to a fact sheet Planned Parenthood posted on its website, the group aborted 332,278 babies.
Had Planned Parenthood's abortionists worked seven days a week for all 12 months of the year, they would have needed to slice and suction 910 babies every day to amass that death count.
Had Planned Parenthood's abortionists worked 24 hours a day on every one of the 365 days in the year -- including Christmas, Easter and the Fourth of July -- they would have needed to terminate about 38 babies per hour to kill 332,278 in a year.
That's one dead baby every 95 seconds.
Surely, there are few institutions on earth that can match Planned Parenthood's pace in dispatching human lives. It is a true champion of death.
The group is also a true champion of government largesse.
In its organizational fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009, Planned Parenthood took in $1.1 billion in total revenue, according to its most recent annual report. Of that $1.1 billion, $363.2 million came from government grants and contracts.
In February, Planned Parenthood spokesman Tait Sye told Bloomberg Businessweek that 90 percent of this $363 million came directly from the federal government or from Medicaid, a federal-state program. That means Planned Parenthood received about $326.7 million from the federal government and Medicaid in 2009, a year it averaged 910 abortions per day.
In February, when the Republican-majority House approved a preliminary version of the continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded for the rest of this fiscal year, it included an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence that expressly prohibited funds in the CR from going to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America or to any of 102 specifically named local Planned Parenthood affiliates.
The House approved Pence's amendment 240-185. Ten Democrats crossed party lines to support it.
Yet two months later, when Boehner negotiated with President Barack Obama on the final provisions of the continuing resolution for the rest of fiscal 2011, he dropped the prohibition on Planned Parenthood funding.
On April 14, the House approved the Boehner-Obama CR -- although 59 Republicans voted against it. Boehner led a coalition of 179 Republicans and 81 Democrats who secured its passage.
Between April 14, when the Boehner-Obama CR passed, and Sept. 30, when the fiscal year ends, 141 days will have passed in which the government continued to fund Planned Parenthood. If Planned Parenthood continued to abort babies during that time at its self-reported 2009 pace of 910 per day, it will have killed 128,310 innocents during the tenure of the Boehner-Obama CR.
Boehner cannot undo that part of his legacy. But he does not have to capitulate again.
As of Aug. 15, according to the Treasury, the federal government was $14.62 trillion in debt. Boehner just agreed to legislation that will allow Obama to increase that by about another $2.4 trillion.
Every additional dollar paid to Planned Parenthood will be borrowed money that future generations will need to pay off -- the very generations Planned Parenthood is working to abort.
If Planned Parenthood continues to receive federal funding after Sept. 30, it only will be because Boehner cut another deal with Obama and a sufficient number of Republicans followed Boehner's lead in forging a coalition with House Democrats to approve the deal -- over the opposition of members who don't want tax dollars going to the nation's largest abortionist.
If Boehner takes a stand against Planned Parenthood funding, he will spark a certain-to-be-ferocious national debate in which the liberal media will use all their firepower to defend Obama and the abortionists.
Yet Boehner will have not only the fiscal and moral high ground but also a chance to use his office and the national debate to turn hearts and minds back toward the truth -- which is what great statesmen do.