Washington D.C., Mar 8, 2021 / 14:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The House could be voting as soon as Tuesday on a COVID relief package that pro-life groups warn would increase funding of abortions.
On Saturday, the Senate passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan of 2021 by a vote of 50-49, sending the legislation back to the House to be reconciled and passed again. The relief bill, which includes funding of vaccine distribution, economic relief, and stimulus checks, does not include abortion funding restrictions that previous relief bills were subject to.
Thus, pro-life leaders have warned that the billions of dollars in health care spending under the legislation could be used to fund abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, or subsidize abortion coverage in health care plans.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) attempted to insert a “Hyde” provision into the legislation specifying that the funds could not be used for elective abortions. The measure failed to receive the necessary 60 votes for inclusion in the bill, but it was supported by three Democrats—Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Tim Kaine (Va.).
However, all three Democrats ultimately supported the bill on its final passage. All Republicans voted against it except for Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) did not vote, while Independent senators Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine) supported the act.