Friday, October 23, 2009

For House leaders, abortion funding comes first

According to the Associated Press today:
Unless an eleventh-hour agreement is reached, [pro-life Rep. Bart] Stupak intends to carry through on a threat he's been holding over House leaders for months: to block action on the larger health overhaul bill unless he's allowed to offer a stand-alone amendment during floor debate to include the Hyde amendment restrictions [which would exclude abortion coverage] in the health overhaul bill.

Such an amendment would be almost certain to prevail, since it likely would attract the votes of most Republicans as well as some Democrats. So Democratic leaders won't let Stupak offer it.

National Right to Life's Doug Johnson says, "It is perfectly clear that Speaker Pelosi will seek to impose a 'rule' that protects the pro-abortion language in the bill, and that prevents any vote on a genuine pro-life amendment. That is what she will do."

This is disheartening. As Wesley Smith writes, "[House leaders] want abortion to be covered, I think, more than they want a health care bill to pass."

But it's not too late. Please contact the members of the House rules committee, including chair Rep. Louise Slaughter, and ask them to allow a vote on the pro-life Stupak-Pitts amendment to stop abortion funding in health care. Also contact your representative in the House and urge him or her to oppose bringing the bill to the House floor under a closed rule that would not allow a vote on the pro-life amendment.

Says Johnson: "Every member of the House needs to hear this clear message: A vote to bring this bill to the House floor under a closed rule is a vote for direct government funding of abortion, through the public plan, and also a vote for tax-based subsidies for private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand."

NRLC has much more here.