Thumbs Down on Abortion Deal

While Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) cut a deal with Democrats on abortion restrictions in a new health care bill, the deal is not being embraced by one major anti-abortion group.

Here is a release from the National Right to Life Committee, expressing their opposition to the language in the new 383 page amendment to the health bill unveiled on Saturday by Democrats.

Note the phrase "light years".


National Right to Life Committee statement on new Reid abortion language


WASHINGTON (December 19, 2009, 2:00 PM EST):  The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states, strongly opposes the abortion language contained in the "manager's amendment" filed today by U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nv.).  Reid intends to press for Senate approval of the language during the days immediately ahead, without allowing an opportunity for any revisions to be considered.

The following statement may be attributed to NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson:

The manager's amendment is light years removed from the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that was approved by the House of Representatives on November 8 by a bipartisan vote of 240-194.  The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems. 

NRLC will score the upcoming roll call votes on cloture on the Reid manager's amendment, and on the underlying bill, as votes in favor of legislation to allow the federal government to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand, to oversee multi-state plans that cover elective abortions, and to empower federal officials to mandate that private health plans cover abortions even if they do not accept subsidized enrollees, among other problems. 

In addition, if the final bill produced by a House-Senate conference committee does not contain the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, NRLC will score the House and Senate votes on the conference report as votes to allow federal mandates and subsidies for coverage of elective abortion.  Unless the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is included in the final bill, and the new pro-abortion provisions dropped, a significant number of House members who voted for H.R. 3962 will not vote to pass the final legislation.

A more detailed critique of the new Reid language will be posted on the NRLC website later today at