Monday, October 12, 2009

Abortion and health care reform

Those of us convinced that abortion is the killing of a human being have taken some small comfort in knowing that, although legal, it cannot be publicly funded. It will be interesting, and perhaps revealing, to see whether the goal of reversing that policy will be more important to the House Democratic leadership than passing health care reform. From
Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.), co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, told that Democrats who oppose government funding of abortion will try to block the health care reform bill from coming to a vote on the House floor unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) allows a floor vote on an amendment to explicitly prohibit abortion funding in the bill.

Stupak was responding to a question from about White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’s contention at Friday’s press briefing that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were mistaken in their belief that the Hyde Amendment, which bars abortion funding in each year’s Health and Human Services Appropriation, would not apply to the new programs created and funded through the health care bill.

What Stupak wants to do is attach the language of the Hyde Amendment to the health-care bill itself so that abortion funding is permanently and explicitly barred in the federally funded health insurance plans. ....

“If our amendment is not made in order we will try to shut down the rule, preventing the health care bill from coming to the floor for a vote,” Stupack stated. “If the Speaker believes that abortion funding is not in the bill then she should let me have my amendment, because if anything it would just be redundant.” ....

Stupak told Fox News last month he believed he had enough votes lined up to defeat the rule if Speaker Pelosi does not agree to allow a vote on an amendment to explicitly bar abortion funding through the bill.

Stupak (D-Mich.) is co-sponsoring the amendment with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). It says: “No funds authorized under this Act (or an amendment by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except” in the cases of rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother. .... [more] - Pro-Life Democrats Seek to Block Health Bill if Pelosi Won’t Allow Vote on Amendment Barring Abortion Funding

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