Senate May Vote on Federal Abortion Funding as Early as Next Week

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 25, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate May Vote on Federal Abortion Funding as Early as Next Week Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 25,

Washington, DC ( — The U.S. Senate could vote on an amendment to make sure that federal funds are not used directly to pay for abortions as early as next week. Though the Senate has frequently voted on funding groups that could use tax dollars to pay for abortions, but it hasn’t voted on direct abortion funding since 1999.

Next week, at the earliest, the Senate is expected to take up S. 1200, a bill to make extensive changes to the laws governing federal health programs for American Indians, which are administered by the Indian Health Service (IHS).

According to an action alert received from the National Right to Life Committee, IHS funds were used some years ago to pay for abortions directly in almost every circumstance.

That funding no longer exists but pro-life groups and lawmakers want to add language to it proactively to ensure funding does not resume in the future.

Pro-life Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican intends to offer an amendment to make the ban on abortion funding through IHS permanent, except in extremely rare instances.

"It is necessary to amend the permanent law to ensure that it does not occur again in the future," NRLC says in its action alert. "All U.S. Senators need to hear immediately from constituents who are opposed to federal funding of abortion."

The Vitter Amendment is similar to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits direct federal funding of abortions, but would permanently apply to the IHS law in all federal Indian health programs.

ACTION: You can call the Senate office of any senator by phoning 202-224-3121 or go to and look up your senators by name for more specific contact information. Ask them to support the Vitter amendment to the IHS bill.