Catholic political analyst, Deal Hudson, said yesterday that pro-life forces will face an uphill battle over the health care bill expected to reach its peak of discussion in the Senate over the weekend.
Hudson, director of InsideCatholic.com, explained that the Senate Health Care Bill “contains federal funding for abortion, and many other unmentionables, e.g., so-called ‘end-of-life’ care.”
“In spite of Sen. Reid's explicit promise, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was rejected,” Hudson wrote.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's bill would permit abortions in a government-run plan if it receives the approval of the Health and Human Services Secretary. Additionally, any woman receiving federal subsidies could buy a private health plan that covers abortion.
In contrast, the Stupak amendment approved by a majority in the House two weeks ago would prohibit a newly-created government-run option to cover abortions and would not allow people to use federal subsidies to buy private plans covering abortions.
Hudson explained to CNA that the bill can be prevented from going to the floor for debate if 41 senators oppose the cloture. He added that reaching this number is possible making Saturday a day that will be “very dramatic.”
On Saturday, the Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. continuing the debate which leads up to the vote at 8:00 p.m. on the motion to proceed.
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, one of three lawmakers being wooed by Senate Democratic leaders to back the health-care legislation, won the inclusion of an extra $100 million in federal aid for low-income citizens in her state on Thursday.
Despite the $100 million which has been seen as an anticipated payment for her vote, Robert Sawicki, press secretary for the senator said Landrieu hasn’t decided whether to vote for Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s motion to start debate on the legislation.
The National Right to Life said on Thursday that Reid's more than 2,000 page bill is "completely unacceptable" for pro-lifers.
Douglas Johnson, the NRL legislative director, criticized the notion that public money wouldn't end up being spent on abortion, noting that you can't segregate public and private funds when someone receives federal subsidies.
"The claim that a federal agency can pay for abortions with private money is a hoax," Johnson said. "All funds spent by a federal agency are federal funds."
"Provisions that don't include a ban on federal funding aren't acceptable to anti-abortion lawmakers," Rep. Bart Stupak said Thursday. Rep. Dale Kildee (D- Mich.) who supported Stupak's amendment, said the final bill needs the Stupak amendment to pass when it goes back to the House.
"It would be very difficult to pass the bill without it," he said.