Pro-Life Groups Will Hold Democrats Accountable for Pro-Abortion Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 23, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Will Hold Democrats Accountable for Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 23
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life organizations are disappointed by the outcome of the vote on the Motion to Proceed which saw a one-vote partisan victory to start debate on the pro-abortion health care bill. Though they worked overtime to secure no votes, they say they will continue to try to amend or defeat the legislation.

"Obama and Reid wanted debate – so now they’ll get debate on their cloaked provisions that would cover abortion on demand in proposed new government-run and government-subsidized insurance plans," Douglas Johnson, of the National Right to Life Committee, told

"During the weeks ahead, National Right to Life will continue to fight the efforts of President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders to cover abortion on demand in two huge new federal health programs," he promised.

Although the defeat represented just one skirmish in the battle to stop abortion funding, Johnson promised more chances to stop the bill ahead.

"The Senate bill faces additional 60-vote hurdles in the future," he said. "Moreover, a courageous group of pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives will oppose final approval of health care legislation if the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is gutted or removed."

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, warned that the "vote will come back to haunt many of these senators."

"Several have tried to have it both ways. They say they oppose the bill yet at the most crucial time when only one Democrat senator could have changed or killed the bill, they supported it,’ she lamented.

She said that they are now "on record as voting for a bill that will fund abortion, ration health care, prompt doctors to leave the profession and cause millions of Americans to lose their health coverage."

Wright noted that, earlier this year, eight Democratic senators who supported an amendment to stop abortion funding through the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, supported the motion to start debate on the pro-abortion health care bill.

Those senators are: Evan Bayh (IN), Robert Byrd (WV), Robert Casey (PA), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Ben Nelson (NE), Mark Pryor (AR) and Harry Reid (NV).

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, also said certain Democrats will be held accountable if the abortion funding bill moves forward.

“If this health care bill makes it to conference committee without an authentic abortion exclusion, Senators Casey, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson and Reid will be held especially accountable," she said.

“Senators should consider themselves on notice: America is still waiting for you to strike government funded abortion from this legislation," she told

Dannenfelser said they have one more chance to redeem themselves.

"Their last chance will be on the final cloture vote to end debate. A vote to close debate without the addition of strong pro-life language will be a vote for government-funded abortion," she said. "That would be the ultimate betrayal of pro-life constituents and even self-described pro-choice Americans who oppose government-funded abortion.”

Unlike the House version of health care reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act explicitly authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to include abortion coverage in the public option.

The bill also allows the use of government subsidies to purchase insurance policies that include elective abortion coverage. This is a departure from current federal policy, which bans the use of taxpayer funds for abortion and health plans that cover abortion.

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