Skip to comments.Pro-Life Leaders Launch Opposition to Senate Health Bill Following Nelson Amendment Demise
Posted on 12/09/2009 11:27:22 AM PST by GonzoII
Wednesday December 9, 2009
Pro-Life Leaders Launch Opposition to Senate Health Bill Following Nelson Amendment Demise
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following the defeat of the Nelson/Hatch/Casey amendment Tuesday evening, pro-life leaders are calling on senators to oppose the Senate health care bill as it heads towards a final vote, which lawmakers expect will happen before the end of the year.
The Senate voted 54-45 Tuesday evening to table the Nelson/Hatch/Casey amendment, effectively killing the language that would have applied Hyde-amendment restrictions on federal funding of abortion to the health care overhaul. The "tabling" vote allowed Democrats to do away with the Nelson amendment without the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster of cloture for the amendment.
The vote came after hours of debate on the Senate floor, with alternating Democrat and Republican speeches at loggerheads as to whether the bill's original abortion language represented adequate protections, as pro-abortion lawmakers claimed, or a vast expansion of abortion, as pro-life lawmakers claimed. Pro-abortion senators also argued that the Nelson/Hatch/Casey amendment was discriminatory against women, and violated women's right to privacy.
Yet pro-life senators maintained earlier Tuesday that the bill's phony "compromise" language on abortion masked a fundamental shift on federal policy regarding elective abortion funding, and called on their compatriots to oppose the bill should the Nelson amendment fail.
"For pro-life senators, this is the vote, but it doesn't stop here," said Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.). "Even if this amendment doesn't pass, I want to make the case that this bill should not go forward, because it literally will create a system ... to finance abortions. And I don't believe that's what this country wants."
In a letter to Senators dated December 7, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops warned that, if the Nelson amendment is rejected, "the current legislation should be opposed." Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said last month that the senate bill was "actually the worst bill we've seen so far on the life issues."
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, condemned the Senate for "allowing this effort at reform to be hijacked by abortion extremists." "Those in the Senate who rejected this Amendment have voted to let their attachment to the abortion industry interfere with health care reform in this country," said Pavone.
The Susan B. Anthony list urged pro-life Senators to oppose the bill "if you call yourself pro-life and genuinely care about preserving true common ground." The National Right to Life Committee has compiled recent poll results that show broad public support for the funding restrictions in the Nelson amendment.
"You can't find greater common ground than the decision to restrict government funding for abortion on-demand," said Susan B. Anthony list president Marjorie Dannenfelser. "With his actions tonight, Harry Reid has effectively tabled the common ground."
"Senator Reid calls himself pro-life, yet he continues to advance the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade at taxpayers' expense."
Senators Go Head-to-Head Over Nelson/Hatch/Casey Amendment
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My “Catholic” senator, Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) won’t support Nelson’s amendment, or any amendment that restricts abortion...but my parish, where she is a member, still considers her a Catholic in good standing...big surprise.
When are people going to realize that these amendments mean NOTHING. Just cover for the Democrats.
She made a very good point: If you want your voice to be heard in Washington, don't call the Senate or Congress legislative offices in Washington or at home. Those staffers' primary job is too put off constituents, and they ignore the phone tree every time it lights up. They just assume some right wing pundit has called out the phone tree and email campaign, and that they can ignore the one day avalanche of concern.
On the other hand, coordinated efforts to get a group of citizens to call at different hours for days or weeks on end will still get their attention.
If you truly want your voice to be heard, CALL THEIR CAMPAIGN OFFICES to voice your concerns. And look up their large private donors. If you're able to do so prudently, speak to those donors and ask them to voice your concerns to the CAMPAIGN OFFICES of each Senator of Congressman. This is the point where pressure can be applied most effectively by private citizens.
The Senate health care reform bill is truly a monstrosity. I thought I was up on these issues, but Peg's presentation Monday night was very disconcerting. It must be opposed.
Peg has videos posted on YouTube regarding the health care reform bills. She has put together one of the best sets of commentaries I've seen so far.
Go to her website and click the video thumbnails on the top of the main page to watch them.
Nelson said he would filibuster the HarryReidcare bill, and I hope his constituents politely remind him of that promise.