Abortion amendment to Senate health care bill will have Stupak language, senator’s spokesman confirms
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

.- A bipartisan group of senators opposed to taxpayer funding for abortion is preparing an amendment to the Senate health care bill which uses the language of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, a senator’s spokesman has confirmed to CNA.

The Stupak Amendment, sponsored by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.), restricted abortion funding in the House version of the health care bill.

The group supporting a Senate version of the amendment includes Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

On Wednesday afternoon CNA spoke with Sen. Nelson spokesman Jake Thompson about the proposed amendment.

“It will be Stupak language,” Thompson told CNA by phone.

Asked to clarify his description of the bill as “Stupak-like,” Thompson explained that the difference between the House and Senate versions will be that the latter conforms to Senate rules.

Sen. Nelson will not “water down” the amendment, his spokesman stated.

“It’s going to seek to accomplish the goal that the Stupak Amendment does, to ensure that federal funding dollars cannot be used for abortion.”

Thompson said that Sen. Nelson will introduce the amendment as early as Wednesday and is seeking co-sponsors on the proposal.

He also confirmed that Sen. Nelson will not vote for the health care bill or for cloture on the debate unless it has such an amendment.

“There has to be Stupak-like language,” Thompson explained.

Sen. Hatch has also backed the proposed amendment.

"We're not talking about doing away with abortion. We're talking about refusing to have federal funds pay for it," Sen. Hatch said, according to Fox News.

The senator said it may be difficult to get the 60 votes needed to pass the amendment.

Sen. Nelson, a pro-life Democrat, had voted for the first cloture motion on Nov. 21, thus allowing debate on the bill to proceed. In a statement issued the same day, he said that his vote only began debate and was “an opportunity to make improvements.”

“If you don't like a bill why block your own opportunity to amend it?” he commented.

In the same statement he also said he would oppose the second cloture motion if the parts of the health care bill he opposed were not changed.

The House bill’s inclusion of the Stupak Amendment has triggered intense opposition from pro-abortion groups. According to Fox News, one group, the Coalition to Pass Health Care Reform and Stop Stupak, plans to hold a rally on Wednesday against the Stupak language.

Kristin Day, President of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), on Wednesday told CNA she had not yet seen the proposed amendment but assumed it was “quite similar” to the Stupak Amendment.

Day said she was unsure of its prospects in the Senate, but noted a similar amendment to Indian Health Service legislation has passed.

She reported that there have been some changes in Senate membership, adding that the proposed amendment is “going to be a close vote.”

“For the overall chances of the health care bill passing and getting to President Obama’s desk, I think it’s important to pass this amendment,” Day continued.

The amendment would be important for the smooth progress of the Senate-House conference which will reconcile both bodies’ health care reform bills, she explained.

“We’re going to be very interested in what the language looks like and in working hard to pass it,” Day told CNA.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: