Senate Panel Continues Promoting Abortion in Health Care, More Votes Expected
by Steven Ertelt
July 14, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Senate committee on Monday defeated four new amendments by pro-life advocates determined to stop a health care restructuring bill from paying for and promoting abortions. However, the decrement in the makeup of the Senate has made it so pro-life advocates are losing most committee and floor votes.
The Senate HELP Committee ultimately voted down four pro-life amendments, all on 12-11 party-line votes with Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, joining Republicans to support the abortion limits.
The panel defeated an amendment from Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming to remove the "abortion mandate" from the health care bill and another from Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah to remove the abortion subsidies.
The committee also rejected an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to protect state laws limiting abortions and abortion funding from being nullified by federal law under the health care bill and a second that would protect the conscience rights of health care workers.
Instead, the committee adopted what Douglas Johnson of National Right to Life told LifeNews.com was a "sham, ultra-narrow ‘conscience’ provision offered in the name of Senator Kennedy."
"The Senate committee’s action in rejecting four pro-life amendments is just one more proof that the Democratic health-care bills currently under consideration represent the biggest pro-abortion power grab since Roe v. Wade," Johnson explained.
"These bills contain provisions that will result in mandates that virtually all health plans pay for abortion and that virtually all health networks establish abortion providers. They will provide federal funding for abortion on demand, and nullify state laws regulating abortion," he continued.
Johnson told LifeNews.com that more battles are coming up this week on abortion and health care.
He says he expects pro-life Rep. Joe Pitts and other pro-life members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to offer similar amendments to the House Democratic bill that is expected to be worked up on Thursday.
Some of the pro-life amendments may be offered in the other two House committees as well and lawmakers are expected to combine the various health care restructuring bills into one package that is scheduled for House floor action around July 29.
When those debates come, Johnson says the pro-life movement needs to get energized to contact members of Congress.
"The pro-life movement needs to go to threat-level-red status on this issue, because this legislation poses mortal peril to the unborn and it is on a fast track," Johnson said.
ACTION: Please contact members of the Senate Help Committee (see https://help.senate.gov) and let them know about how you feel about their votes promoting abortion in health care. Then, contact members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee (https://energycommerce.house.gov) and urge support for any amendments limiting abortion.
Related web sites:
National Right to Life Committee – https://www.nrlc.org
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