Health Care Bill Promoting Abortion Will Get House Vote Next Week Despite Senate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Health Care Bill Promoting Abortion Will Get House Vote Next Week Despite Senate

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 24
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Despite a move by Senate leaders to postpone any vote on a health care bill that could promote abortion funding and coverage until September, the House will likely vote next week. The measure it will consider probably won’t have any limits on abortion that pro-life groups are requesting.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told NPR today that the House will likely vote on its government-run health plan before it breaks for its August recess.

After meeting with pro-abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Emanuel told NPR, "their intention is to go next week and she is working toward that goal."

Congress "can use the summer months to basically work out and iron out differences," he said.

"Having a deadline focuses the mind," he said.

Without abortion limits, a group of 40 pro-life Democrats are focused on defeating the bill. Combined with Republicans they would possibly have enough votes to stop either the rules for debate or the bill itself on the House floor.

President Barack Obama had been pushing for Congress to complete its work on a bill before its traditional August recess, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced yesterday that a vote will not take place until afterwards.

"It’s better to have a product based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than try to jam something through," Reid said.

Obama said he is fine with the Senate waiting to vote and expects a bill on his desk by the end of the year.

"We just heard today that, well, we may not be able to get the bill out of the Senate by the end of August, or the beginning of August," Obama said. "That’s OK. I just want people to keep on working. Just keep working."

What pro-life advocates want Congress to work on is an addition of amendments that would stop taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care and mandates that insurance companies cover it in their plans.

Just this week, President Obama told CBS News he didn’t want to "wade into" the debate over whether taxpayers should be forced to pay for abortions within his health care takeover.

But pro-life advocates say the president has already "waded in" and point to comments one of his top staffers made to Planned Parenthood last week urging the pro-abortion group to continue lobbying to keep abortion in the health care plan.

Without an explicit amendment making sure that the benefits advisory committee the bills would establish can’t define abortion into the health care restructuring package.

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