by Steven Ertelt
March 14, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton joined a majority of the Senate Thursday night in rejecting an amendment that would offer financial support to poor pregnant women and their unborn children. Their votes contrasted with likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain.
The two candidates voted against a measure by Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado that would have included pregnant women and their unborn children in the SCHIP program.
Pro-life groups strongly supported the amendment because it would help women who may otherwise have an abortion because of financial worries about affording a baby.
The vote provided another clear contrast between Obama and Clinton, who support unlimited abortions funded with taxpayer dollars, and McCain, who opposes abortion and has called for reversing Roe v. Wade.
Obama and Clinton voted with the majority of the Senate 52-46 in rejecting the bid to help pregnant women while McCain supported the Allard amendment.
Before the Allard vote, the Senate approved an amendment from pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer that would provide more limited coverage of pregnant women and their babies under the SCHIP program.
That amendment received the support of the Senate with a 70-27 vote.
However, pro-life advocates have some concerns about the Boxer language and say it doesn’t accomplish as much as the Allard amendment.
The Boxer amendment classifies pregnant women as children and fails to recognize an unborn child as a person under law who is eligible for federal funding under the program. It also covers a smaller pool of mothers and babies than the Allard measure.
In addition, the Boxer amendment has the potential to increase eligibility for state funded abortions in certain states where state funded pregnancy services include abortion.
The Boxer amendment received the support of all of the Senate Democrats and about half of the chamber’s Republicans.
The Allard amendment, considered by pro-life groups to be a truer vote in reflecting a pro-life versus a pro-abortion position, saw mostly Republicans voting in favor as well as Democratic Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
The rest of the chamber’s Democrats voted against the Allard amendment as well as Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
ACTION: See how your senators voted on the Allard amendment by going here. Take a few minutes to make your views known on their vote by calling 202-224-3121 or going to www.Senate.gov for contact information.