by Steven Ertelt
April 18, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Though the Senate rejected their legislation once before, Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid and pro-abortion New York Sen. Hillary Clinton are back with their bill to promote the morning after pill as a way to reduce the number of abortions.
Last March, the pair proposed their Prevention First Act as an amendment to the FY 2006 Congressional budget resolution. Senators rejected it on a 53 to 47 vote.
The measure would have funded a public education campaign to boost public awareness of the morning-after pill. However, pro-life groups and lawmakers oppose the legislation because the Plan B drug can sometimes cause an abortion.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Budget Committee, New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg, objected to the amendment, saying it would prevent funding for abstinence-only education programs.
In a national op-ed appearing in newspapers across the nation on Tuesday, Reid and Clinton are touting their proposal as a stand alone bill and are chiding pro-life people who don’t support it.
The senators say unintended pregnancies and abortions could be prevented by supporting their bill, but they won’t likely gain pro-life supporters because of their criticial comments.
"Ironically, those advocating the loudest for an outright ban on abortion are too often the same people who oppose prevention initiatives," they write.
Point to "hypocrisy" from pro-life elected officials in their public policy, they complain that South Dakota, where lawmakers recently approved a ban on abortions, is one of the most difficult places in the nation to access the morning after pill.
The pair don’t discuss the unusual rural nature of the state, which sees most of its population clustered on opposite ends in Sioux Falls or the Rapid City area.
Reid and Clinton try to sell their bill by saying it represents a unique effort between both sides of the abortion debate. Clinton is a longtime abortion advocate and while Reid bills himself as pro-life, his pro-life views have deteriorated over the years.
"As two senators on opposite sides of the abortion debate … we believe that, while disagreeing, we can work together to find common ground," the write in the national op-ed.
However, Reid’s pro-life credentials are not what they used to when, decades ago, he supported a human life amendment to the Constitution.
In April 2005, Reid backed a pro-abortion amendment to a State Department spending bill that would reverse President Bush’s Mexico City Policy. It would have the U.S. spend taxpayer dollars on groups that perform and promote abortions in other nations.
From 2003 to 2004, Reid earned only a 55 percent pro-life voting record from the National Right to Life Committee.
Reid again voted to fund groups that perform abortions overseas, he voted for a procedural motion that would have defeated the partial-birth abortion ban, and he backed a pro-abortion measure that would not regard unborn children as victims when they are killed or injured in an attack on the mother.