House Will Vote on Pro-Abortion Health Care Reform Bill on Saturday Evening
by Steven Ertelt
November 4, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of Representatives will finally cast its first votes on the pro-abortion health care reform bill this weekend. After a fluid process that saw dates repeatedly pushed back, the first chance pro-life advocates will have to stop the abortion funding bill will come Saturday night.
That means pro-life advocates need to continue turning out phone calls and emails to lawmakers every day until all of the votes have ben cast.
Two steps remain before lawmakers will actually take a vote on the pro-abortion health care bill itself, HR 3962.
First, the House must vote on the Managers Amendment, which is an amendment to make changes to the bill, and it does not include any limits on abortion funding.
Secondly, the House must vote on the Rule for debate and pro-life advocates are expected to vigorously oppose the Rule because it contains a fake amendment that does not actually stop abortion funding under either the public option or the affordability credits.
House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise M. Slaughter said Wednesday that the Rule will include the Ellsworth amendment that LifeNews.com has reported on, which pro-life groups such as National Right to Life and leading pro-life Congressman Chris Smith have condemned.
The rules committee will meet 24 hours before the Saturday debate and it is expected to approve the Rule for debate on a party-line vote.
Then, the House vote is expected at 6 p.m. Saturday after what is likely to be a fierce day of debating with pro-life lawmakers underscoring how HR 3926 would become the largest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade.
Although Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats hope the Ellsworth amendment is enough to get some pro-life Democrats to support the Rule and the health care bill, top pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak said today that that won’t be the case.
"There is no agreement and I will oppose bringing the bill to the floor until an amendment can be offered or language agreed that will prevent public funding for abortion," he said. "I will continue to oppose and will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until there is satisfactory language to prevent public funding for abortion."
Douglas Johnson of National right to Life tells LifeNews.com that pro-life advocates should not be fooled by mainstream media reports that the Ellsworth amendment is a compromise or stops abortion funding.
"Speaker Pelosi, Henry Waxman, and the White House are engaged in peddling another phony compromise. This is all theater," he said.
"The language being circulated, and loosely associated with Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), does not mitigate either of the abortion-subsidy provisions contained in H.R. 3962," he explained. "This language is intended only to wrap the pro-abortion provisions in additional layers of concealment. The latest version being circulated contains a money-laundering scheme that is truly laughable."
"The Ellsworth language serves no purpose except to assist the pro-abortion House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to peel votes away from the authentic pro-life amendment, the Stupak Amendment," he added.
Also, Republicans have said they are upset that Pelosi will not allow lawmakers to review the final language of the Ellsworth amendment until shortly before the vote.
If Speaker Pelosi intends to address critical issues like taxpayer funding for abortion in the rule, they should make it available for the American people to read for 72 hours, said Mike Steel, spokesman for Republican leader John Boehner.
With no Republicans expected to vote for the bill or the Rule, Pelosi must come up with the 218 votes on her own and Stupak said before the creation of the Ellsworth amendment that he has enough pro-life Democrats willing to vote no to keep Pelosi a handful of votes short.
ACTION: Contact your member of the House immediately and urge a no vote on the Rule and HR 3962 because the health care bill contains massive abortion funding. Get contact information at https://www.House.gov.
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