Letter From 183 House Members Urges Pelosi to Allow Vote to Cut Abortion Funding
by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A bipartisan group of 183 members of Congress sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter on Monday urging her to allow a vote on an amendment to cut the massive abortion funding and subsidies from the main health care "reform" bill in the chamber.
HR 3200 currently allows for both abortion subsidies and mandates and pro-life Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan wants the opportunity to propose an amendment to remove the funding from the bill.
"We urge you to allow members of the House to vote their consciences with regard to abortion and health care reform by allowing consideration of an amendment to prohibit government funding of abortion," the letter says.
The lawmakers say HR 3200 "radically departs from current federal government policy of not paying for elective abortion or subsidizing plans that cover abortion."
Although Pelosi, President Barack Obama and other abortion advocates say the three different versions of HR 3200 House committees approved do not fund abortions, the lawmakers say one version specifically does.
"The version that was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, containing the Capps Amendment, actually explicitly authorizes the federal government (the Department of Health and Human Services) to directly fund elective abortions, with federal (public) funds drawn form a federal Treasury account," they explain.
"The simple fact is that, under the Capps language, the U.S. Treasury will be permitted to issue checks to abortion clinics to reimburse for abortion on demand for the first time in decades," they say.
The lawmakers also complain that HR 3200 "explicitly provides for government subsidies to pay the premiums for private insurance polices that include elective abortion coverage. That, too, is a drastic break from longstanding federal policy."
They note how the Hyde Amendment has long prohibited direct abortion funding under Medicaid but note that the health care bill funding operates outside the scope of the program and isn’t subjected to the limits of the Hyde amendment.
The 183 members also sent their letter to pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter, the chair of the House Rules Committee.
If Stupak and his pro-life colleagues are allowed to propose an amendment to remove the abortion funding from the health care bill, the Rules Committee will first have to vote to give him that option.
Should it fail to do so, Stupak says as many as 40 pro-life and moderate Democrats are willing to join Republicans in voting against not only the rules for debate on HR 3200 on the House floor but the bill as well. That could ultimately defeat the legislation.
Related web sites:
The 183-member pro-life letter –
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