House Democrats Prevent Amendment Limiting Obama’s Intl Abortion Agenda
by Steven Ertelt
June 10, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives is slated to consider a bill today to fund the State Department, but House Democrats wielded their control over the chamber by preventing a pro-life amendment. Rep. Chris Smith had hoped to offer an amendment to limit President Barack Obama’s international abortion agenda.
Several pro-life groups are urging opposition to the State Department funding bill (HR 2410) unless an amendment is adopted making sure the new Office for Global Womens Issues, which the bill authorizes, will not promote abortion.
The pro-life organizations are worried that Obama, who appointed a longtime abortion advocate to head up the office, will use the ambassador post to promote an international right to abortion.
As LifeNews.com has reported, Smith had hoped to have an opportunity to offer an amendment that would have made the bill abortion neutral. It would have allowed the creation of the new post, but only to promote legitimate women’s interests, not abortion.
During a meeting of the House Rules Committee on Wednesday night, House Democrats decided to shape the rules of the debate on the bill to disallow Smith amendment.
As a result, House members will not have a chance to vote on the amendment and, therefore, leading pro-life groups say they are asking Congress to vote against the State Department bill when it comes up for a vote later today or Thursday.
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, talked with LifeNews.com about the latest developments.
"The House Rules Committee, an arm of the House Democratic leadership, refused to allow the House to vote on the Chris Smith amendment, which would have prohibited the Obama Administration from using the new Office for Global Women’s Issues to attack pro-life laws in other nations," he explained.
"To add insult to injury, the Rules Committee stuck sham abortion language into the bill that would have no legal effect whatever," he added.
"This means that the only acceptable pro-life option is to vote against the entire bill," he said.
Johnson said National Right to Life would include the vote on the State Department bill, because of its pro-abortion component, in its annual list of Congressional votes it uses to assign a pro-life rating to members of Congress.
Millions of pro-life voters see this NRLC scorecard following the Congressional session and it is used by NRLC, its state affiliates and other pro-life groups in evaluating candidates.
During the committee consideration of the bill, the Foreign Affairs Committee rejected an amendment Smith offered to prevent the proposed new office from engaging in efforts to alter the laws of foreign nations governing abortion.
ACTION: Contact your member of Congress by going to https://www.house.gov and urge opposition to H.R. 2410 if the Smith amendment is not adopted.
Related web sites:
National Right to Life – https://www.nrlc.org
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