WASHINGTON (BP)--Pro-lifers won a major victory Friday evening when House Democratic leaders announced they would allow a floor vote on a health care bill amendment Saturday that would prohibit federal funding of abortion.
The surprising win came thanks to roughly 40 Democrats who refused to allow a vote on the health care bill (H.R. 3962) unless their leaders let them have an up-or-down vote on the amendment sponsored by Reps. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich) and Joseph Pitts (R.-Pa.).
The bill, as written without the Stupak-Pitts amendment, would allow federal funding of abortion, pro-lifers said. The Stupak-Pitts amendment is similar to one that was narrowly defeated in committee weeks back. Stupak believes the amendment has the votes to pass on the floor, but pro-life groups were taking no chances and were urging their constituents Saturday morning to call their representatives and urge a vote for the Stupak-Pitts amendment. The Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121.
"This will be one of the most important roll call votes that U.S. House members ever casts on a pro-life issue," Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com. "Any lawmaker who votes against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is, in effect, voting in favor of establishing a federal government program that will directly fund abortion on demand, with federal funds."
Although it was a significant win for pro-lifers, Democratic leaders now face a revolt from pro-choicers within their own party if the amendment passes.
Compiled by Michael Foust, assistant editor of Baptist Press.
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