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November 7, 2009

House Passes Health Care Bill, Bars Funding for Abortion

The House just voted 220-215 to approve health care legislation that would create a public health insurance option and require employers to offer health insurance.

Before the final vote, the House also voted 240-194 to bar federal funding of abortion in the proposed government-run health care plan.

Sixty-four Democrats voted in favor of the amendment led by Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), while Republican Rep. John Shadegg voted present in an effort to derail the bill. Here's the full description of the Stupak amendment.

The amendment prohibits federal funds for abortion services in the public option. It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions. However, it allows individuals, both who receive affordability credits and who do not, to separately purchase with their own funds plans that cover elective abortions. It also clarifies that private plans may still offer elective abortions.

Here's analysis from the Associated Press:

Under the Stupak amendment, people who do not receive federal insurance subsidies could buy private insurance plans in the exchange that include abortion coverage. People who receive federal subsidies could buy separate policies covering only abortions if they use only their own money to do it.

Companies selling insurance policies covering abortions would be required to offer identical policies without the abortion coverage.

...A health overhaul bill pending in the Senate also bars federal funding for abortion, but the language is less stringent. Discrepancies between the House and Senate measures would have to be reconciled before any final bill is passed.

CT reported earlier on how abortion and health care had split Democrats, and The New York Times reported that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to deal with another fight before the final vote.

With just hours to go before the start on Saturday morning of historic floor debate over the health care bill, leading Democratic members of the Pro-Choice Caucus emerged from Ms. Pelosi’s office unable to contain their fury. Ms. Pelosi, unwilling to delay a vote on the larger bill, had decided that Democrats who oppose abortion simply had too many votes on their side; for the moment, at least, the liberals who favor abortion rights had lost.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released a statement praising the Stupak amendment but said that the health care legislation is "seriously flawed."

"The Speaker's bill still allows rationing of health care for seniors, raises health costs for families, mandates that families purchase under threat of fines and penalties, encourages counseling for assisted suicide in some states, does not offer broad conscience protections for health care workers and seeks to insert the federal government into all aspects of citizen's lives."


We have now stepped onto the icy-covered section of the slippery slope.

The bill will inact immediate (January 2010) cuts to Medicare but will not implement health care until it begins to take affect in 2013. (It will not be fully implemented until 2019). What we really have here is an excuse to defund Medicare now with the hope of future health care as outlined. However, knowing how the government works, it may end up that the promises of care never happen (or are delayed) and the end effect will be the simple and deceitful undoing of Medicare.

So what. We can but hope that this is nature's way of eliminating the stupid amongst us

The passage of the Stupak Amended-Health Care Bill is the biggest victory in rolling back government funding for abortions ever! The pro-life movement has established its political dominance even in a Democrat-dominated congress, with 240 out of 435 votes! This is the pro-life movement's finest hour!

Abortion will never be abolishes, get over it….

"Abortion will never by abolished"? Never say never; countless people throughout history have said such things, only to be shown wrong. "This ship will never sink." "Women will never get the vote." "Slavery is a permanent fixture of society."
I thought the Supreme Court would never have a majority of pro-life justices, the partial-birth abortion ban would never be upheld by the Supreme Court, the Stupak Amendment would never get voted on, much less pass. Who knows what could happen on abortion? Time will tell.


How about this, give me your address, so I can steer all those babies who should have been aborted too you. Like the woman who got raped or the still born or the retardation baby, I hope you have a very big house….

I am only sorry to see that the Christian Right -- predictably, but still disappointingly -- refuses to support health care despite these strict provisions against federal funds going to abortion. By so doing, they prove they are not pro-life in any sense that matters. They also continue to pave the way for their own -- and perhaps Christianity's own -- rejection by an increasing number of sensitive, thoughtful Americans. This tragedy in slow-motion continues...

TaxExemptGod: Steer them my way. I will find homes of them. You show me a woman who doesn't want her child and I can show you ten families who would take that child.

RE: Evan "nature's way of eliminating the stupid amongst us."

Evan's comment is a throw back to Nazi Germany. Very scary that the Nazi mindset is still "amongst us".

@TaxExemptGod: Re: "I'm calling you out!!!" Yeah, well, I'm calling you out, too, partner! And I double-dog dare you to send: your SSN, bank account info, and some blank checks and your credit card numbers! Along with the title to your car. ;-P

ajs_1952@yahoo.com - you bring me the baby, I'll find a parent.

I’ll send email to Planed Parenthood and tell then to send all the retarded baby’s, they will fell right at home...

See, that's that response I'd expect. You revealed your true nature.

TaxExemptGod, how about sending the babies to the nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center. After all, they have been finding homes for unwanted children for years.
The Stupak amendment is no victory for the pro-life cause. Its restrictions will be removed later on. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commision recently ruled that Catholic Institutions must provide its workers with contraceptives dispite the religious objections of the Catholic Church; failure to comply could result in discrimination lawsuits. The Federal Government will remove the restrictions in Stupak by Congressional action, through the courts,or through Federal Agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision. The religious objections to tax payer funding of abortion will be ignored as Catholic objections to providing contraceptives were.

Re: John Guthrie, I'll hold you to that claim. One year from now, if this healthcare bill passes the Senate, I bet the Stupak restrictions are still is place. Why else would pro-choice Democrats be waxing apocalyptic about this amendment being the biggest blow to the pro-choice cause in decades? Where do you think the pro-choicers are going to get the congressional votes to roll back Stupak when 240 of 435 Reps voted for it? And with the Hyde Amendment, there's no legal basis to repeal Stupak. Contraceptives are hardly the same legally as abortions, nor do they upset many people besides very conservative Catholics.

Basically, there's no real reason to fear the Stupak Amendment will be overturned for the foreseeable future: this IS the pro-life movement's greatest victory.

Brendon, I hope you are right. I think it may be that pro-life Democrats are hoping that to pass the Stupak Amendment may give them cover to vote for Government run health care and so plese both pro-lifers and Democratic interest groups. What ever the Congress does, those who favor health care with mandated coverage of abortion can still get their way through other avenues, either the courts or federal agencies. Remember that the Hyde Amendment is under assault by the Freedom of Choice Act.

No law passed in 1940 is the same law in 2009 as they have since been changed by new legislatures voted in because they wanted to change a bill or law. I would worry about Medicare Advantage being closed down which is what is going to happen when the money starts coming out of it to pay for non-aged uninsured and when benefits are cut. Those who need long term care won't be able to afford a private policy so they will be stuck with a governt policy and some govert board will decide whether they live or not or they even get treatment. As for a Catholic or other religious institution being forced to provide contraceptives to its employees upon threat of jail, what happened to separation of church and state. It is a religious institution with its own beliefs and is supposed to be separate from the government. Why isn't the employee supposed to follow the rules of it's employer and why is the right of firing an employee being taken away from the employer. 1st, it's legal mind control of the church's beliefs by governt, 2nd it's the governt legally running a religious organization for the purpose of changing its beliefs. I suggest the governt pay attention to and go after these cults forcing young girls to have sex with the cult leaders, rape, instead of going after the Catholic churches following an age old belief of not doing ill to the unborn in any way. Tell these employees to find another job where they can use contraceptives because they are not true and practicing Catholics. That's what employers do, is fire employees not following the rules of the employer.

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You cannot eliminate abortion but we can lessen it. There are people who get a life from killing innocent babies and we really need a very tight enforcement of the law if we want abortion to disappear.