Abortion Advocate: Senate Has Votes to Block Stupak Amendment, Could Kill Bill
by Steven Ertelt
November 11, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A different scenario could play out when the Senate considers its version of the government-run health care bill. The House approved its version of the legislation only after adding the pro-life Stupak amendment to make sure it did not funds abortions, but the Senate may not have enough votes for a similar amendment.
The Stupak amendment was said to have given Speaker Nancy Pelosi enough votes to get the health care bill passed, but a lack of votes for an amendment could kill the bill in the Senate.
Even though Harry Reid has promised no abortion funding in the bill, Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who has long been the leader of abortion advocates in the Senate, tells the Huffington Post that there are not 60 votes to beat a filibuster against a Stupak-type amendment.
"If someone wants to offer this very radical amendment, which would really tear apart compromise, then I think at that point they would need to have 60 votes to do it," Boxer said. "And I believe in our Senate we can hold it."
"If they try to add the language we would try to stop them," she told the pro-abortion web site. "If somebody wants to take it out they are going to need 60 votes to take it out… And my view is that we do have the numbers."
"It is a much more pro-choice Senate than it has been in a long time," she added. "And it is much more pro-choice than the House."
Another pro-abortion lawmaker, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, agreed with her assessment.
"It would have to be added," he said of the Stupak amendment is lawmakers wanted to stop abortion funding. "I doubt it could pass."
An amendment similar to the Stupak amendment, floated in the Senate Finance Committee by Sen. Orrin Hatch, has already been defeated as have other amendments on other bills to limit taxpayer funding of abortions.
However, if a Stupak-type amendment is not added, it is very likely that pro-life Sen. Ben Nelson will join perhaps 40 Republicans (and Democrats voting no for other reasons) against the bill. That would make it so Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid doesn’t have the 60 votes he needs to overcome a filibuster and pass the legislation.
With the fallout from the strategic debate within the pro-life movement over the Stupak amendment, the Senate numbers make it appear that a vote on a Stupak amendment is less controversial because it would get senators on record, but make it easier to defeat the entire bill as well.
Huffington Post indicated Boxer met with pro-abortion Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, on Tuesday to discuss the pro-abortion strategy on the bill.
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