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We do have a rich and diverse nation and it is true that our country is full of a variety of faith traditions. That’s what makes America so unique.
Unfortunately, our government leaders don’t always listen to the American people. That’s exactly what happened just days ago on Capitol Hill when the Senate rejected a sound amendment that would have kept abortion from becoming a mandatory health benefit. Most Americans don’t want federal health care dollars used for abortion. A recent poll reveals 80% of Americans either favor a prohibition on abortion funding, or want neutral language in the bill.
The Senate isn’t listening. By a vote of 54-45, the Senate tabled an important amendment that had the support of several pro-life Democrats – including Senators Ben Nelson and Bob Casey. The amendment was tailored after the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that passed in the House. That amendment provides important protections for the life of the unborn.
Our analysis of the Senate health care legislation now being debate clearly shows that abortion coverage would be mandatory. The measure also weakens conscience-clause protections for pro-life medical professionals and fails to prevent abortion referrals in school based health centers.
What happens now? Well, Sen. Nelson is standing firm in his promise to filibuster any Senate bill that does not exclude abortion funding. Other pro-life Democrats should follow suit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs every vote he can get if he expects to pass a health care bill.
Even if some sort of health care measure clears the Senate, we’re back to square-one in a sense – working out the differences between the House and Senate versions – with abortion funding among the chief differences. The battle to protect innocent human life is not over when it comes to health care. It’s really just beginning.
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