Revised Women Veterans Bill of Rights Appears to Exclude Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2010   |   8:33PM   |   Washington, DC

After pro-life groups raised the alarm over sections of the Women Veterans Bill of Rights bill that could promote abortion, the sponsored of the measure has submitted a new version of the legislation.

Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner, a pro-abortion California Democrat, has reportedly provided a new version of H.R. 5953 that the House of representatives debated today and is expected to vote on during its Wednesday session.

“The new version of H.R. 5953 contains a new section 4 which would ensure nothing in the bill can be construed to establish a right to certain services listed as exclusions in” the revised version of the bill, a pro-life source on Capitol Hill informed this afternoon. “The services excluded in [the revised bill] are abortion, IVF, gender alterations, treatment not approved by the FDA and spas/gyms.”

The bill now reads:  “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to establish a right to any service excluded under 38 C.F.R. 17.38, as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act. In addition to the care specifically excluded from the “medical benefits package” under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the “medical benefits package” does not include the following:  Abortions and abortion counseling. In vitro fertilization.”

None of the pro-life leaders in Washington that sent requests for comment to returned those requests by press time.

Yesterday, the National Right to Life Committee sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives urging a no vote on the Women Veterans Bill of Rights. NRLC is worried about the potential for the legislation to open up to VA to abortions and, as was the case with ObamaCare, Right to Life says the only way to prevent this is for a blanket provision added to the bill excluding abortion.

The organization has not said whether or not it believes the changes Filner made to the bill satisfy its concerns.

NRLC is also concerned the bill never received a committee hearing — where pro-life members of Congress would have undoubtedly offered an abortion exclusion amendment. reported earlier about the extensive problems with the bill prior to the issuance of the revised language.