Abortion Advocates Have Three Options to Kill Bush Rule Helping Pro-Life Docs
by Steven Ertelt
January 1, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Once Barack Obama becomes the next president last this month, abortion advocates have three options to use to kill a new Bush rule that protects pro-life doctors and medical centers. The new Bush regulations provide better enforcement for laws helping medical staff avoid being involved in abortions.
The new rule, which takes effect on January 20, probably won’t stay in place for long now that pro-abortion forces control the White House and Congress.
Obama himself has criticized protecting medical professionals as have top pro-abortion members of Congress and leading abortion advocacy groups.
When they get the chance, the abortion advocates will have three options to potentially use to kill the new rules.
Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Patty Murray of Washington have already put forward legislation that would overturn the rule by preventing the Department of Health and Human Services from implementing it.
Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado and Louis Slaughter of New York have filed a companion bill in the House.
While abortion advocates may have the votes to approve the legislation, the bill would be subject to a likely Senate filibuster from pro-life lawmakers and getting the necessary 60 votes to stop that would be difficult.
They may be able to overcome that by putting the language of the bill inside another piece of legislation that is less controversial and one that some lawmakers who would vote against a stand-alone bill wouldn’t oppose.
Lawmakers wanting to ditch the protections have an alternative route they can employ. They can use an obscure law called the Congressional Review Act which allows Congress to reject new regulations from an outgoing White House administration approved within 60 legislative days of Congresss adjournment.
The law would give abortion advocates several months at the beginning of this year in which they can approve a bill based on the CRA to kill the rule.
Although the measure is exempted from a Senate filibuster, the downside to a CRA-based bill is that it can’t be added as a rider to another bill for easier passage.
The third, and perhaps most likely option, is for Obama to have his new Health and Human Services Secretary, pro-abortion former Sen. Tom Daschle, to issue new regulations overturning those the Bush administration just put into place.
Representatives of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both abortion advocates, have told various media outlets that they are discussing the options with other Congressional leaders and haven’t yet decided which strategy to use to revoke the pro-life Bush rules.
Regardless of the strategy, pro-life advocates may take any legislation or Obama administration regulation to court in an attempt to declare it unconstitutional.
They could also urge state legislatures or pro-life governors to pass legislation or implement state versions of the rule to offer more protection for medical centers and staff.
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