Orrin Hatch Will Sponsor Amendment to Cut Abortion Funding in Health Care Bill
by Steven Ertelt
November 17, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Senator Orrin Hatch hopes the third time is a charm when he becomes the official sponsor of the amendment in the Senate to cut abortion funding from the government-run health care bill. Hatch floated two amendments in the two committees that considered the bill but both were defeated.
Hatch told Politics Daily Tuesday that he will become the Bart Stupak of the Senate — the main person behind the amendment to remove abortion funding.
When asked if his amendment would mirror the Stupak language, Hatch replied, "I think so, I think that’s a fair appraisal."
Stupak got his amendment added to the House version of the legislation bot Hatch likely won’t experience the same kind of success.
Most Republicans will vote for the pro-life amendment, but Hatch says he is having a hard time finding many Democrats who will join them.
"It will be much more difficult in the Senate," Hatch predicted, saying he has already started lobbying Democrats for his language. "There are so few you can really turn to."
In September, the Senate Finance Committee rejected his amendment that would have the bill conform to current federal law prohibiting direct abortion funding.
Hatch amendment 355 would have made it so the bill "prohibits authorized or appropriated federal funds under this Mark from being used for elective abortions and plans that cover such abortions."
"All I’m asking — my gosh — is for specific language in the bill that prohibits federal dollars from being used to fund abortions," Hatch said during the debate.
The otherwise party-line vote saw pro-abortion Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe side with Democrats against it and Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota join Republicans in supporting it.
In July, Hatch was unsuccessful in getting the Senate HELP Committee to approve another amendment to cut abortion funding.
The committee went on to approve an amendment from pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, by a razor-thin 12-11 margin with Republicans opposing the amendment along with Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat who was the only member of his party to oppose the amendment.
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