Senators Warn Democrats: Will Filibuster Bill Overturning Pro-Life Abortion Laws
by Steven Ertelt
December 8, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new abortion battle is shaping up this week in Congress that is separate and distinct from the battle over abortion funding in the health care bill. This battle concerns the omnibus appropriations bill the House and Senate must approve to keep the federal government running.
As LifeNews.com reported on Monday, the bill will merge several funding bills that have real concerns for pro-life advocates.
The bills make it so Americans, for the first time in decades, would be forced to fund abortions in the District of Columbia and for federal employees through their health insurance program.
They would also turn President Barack Obama’s decision to overturn the Mexico City Policy, which prevented taxpayer funding of groups that perform and promote abortions abroad, into federal law. That makes it so a pro-life president can’t undo Obama’s decision and Congress would be forced to pass a new law repealing this one.
The House is expected to vote on the omnibus bill, the language of which had not yet been made public as of Monday, later this week. When it does, and if it does not fix the problem of overturning pro-life laws and making Obama’s abortion-funding order permanent, pro-life groups will urge a no vote on the omnibus bill.
Also yesterday, a group of 35 senators wrote a letter to leading Congressional Democrats, promising to filibuster the omnibus legislation in the Senate unless the amendments overturning the pro-life laws are withdrawn.
In a letter delivered to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, pro-life Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina led 35 senators in saying the omnibus legislation will face stiff resistance because of its pro-abortion provisions.
"We want to assure you that we are prepared to take full advantage of our rights under Senate rules to prevent massive taxpayer subsidies for abortions and abortion-related activities," they write, according to the letter provided to LifeNews.com.
Democrats are not just trying to rush abortion funding through in their health care takeover, they’re also secretly using our yearly spending bills to massively expand abortion on demand with taxpayer funding at the 11th hour, said Senator DeMint. This is unacceptable and Republicans will use every tool at our disposal to prevent taxpayers from being forced to fund the destruction of innocent life.
DeMint further explained what pro-abortion Democratic leaders are trying to do when it comes to reversing longstanding abortion funding bans.
Democrats have added language to appropriations bills that would fund abortion on demand for residents of the District of Columbia, for federal employees including members of Congress and their staff, and a permanent provision to immunize foreign organizations that want to promote abortion as a method of birth control," he explained.
"These are changes to existing law that currently protect taxpayers and they cannot stand. Both sides of the abortion debate have always drawn a line at forcing taxpayers to fund something they find morally offensive. We should be finding ways to decrease abortions, not sneaking through federal funding of abortion on demand," he added.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, also weighed in on the situation in comments he sent to LifeNews.com.
"At the same time that congressional Democratic leaders are trying to win enactment of government-funded abortion in their health care legislation, they are also considering using end-of-year omnibus appropriations legislation to try to smuggle in removals of longstanding bans on government-funded abortion in the nation’s Capitol, and in their own insurance plans," he said.
Below is text of the letter sent to Harry Reid:
December 2, 2009
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr. Leader:
We have grave concerns regarding the exclusion of longstanding funding limitations on abortion in the various appropriations bills that are currently before Congress. These measures, which have enjoyed broad bipartisan support for many years, are meant to ensure that taxpayers are not forced to pay for or promote elective abortions either in the United States or abroad.
Yet provisions calling for taxpayer financed abortions and the promotion of abortion have been included in the FY2010 Financial Services and State/Foreign Operations Appropriations bills. We cannot, in good conscience, allow these provisions to move forward, even in an omnibus appropriations bill.
We want to assure you that we are prepared to take full advantage of our rights under Senate rules to prevent massive taxpayer subsidies for abortions and abortion-related activities.
Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Barrasso (R – WY), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Bond, Christopher S. – (R – MO), Sam Brownback (R – KS), Jim Bunning (R – KY), Richard Burr (R – NC) , Saxby Chambliss (R – GA), Tom Coburn (R – OK), Bob Corker (R – TN), John Cornyn (R – TX), Mike Crapo (R – ID), Jim DeMint (R – SC), John Ensign (R – NV), Michael Enzi (R – WY), Lindsey Graham (R – SC), Chuck Grassley (R – IA), Judd Gregg (R – NH), Orrin Hatch (R – UT), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R – TX), Jim Inhofe (R – OK), Johnny Isakson (R – GA), Mike Johanns (R – NE), Jon Kyl (R – AZ), George LeMieux (R – FL), John McCain (R – AZ), Mitch McConnell (R – KY), James Risch (R – ID), Pat Roberts (R – KS), Jeff Sessions (R – AL), Richard Shelby (R – AL), John Thune (R – SD), David Vitter (R – LA), George Voinovich (R – OH), Roger Wicker (R – MS).
ACTION: Urge your member of Congress to oppose the omnibus appropriations bill unless all of the pro-life laws stopping taxpayer funding of abortion remain unchanged. Contact any House member thorough https://www.House.gov
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