By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The nation’s premier pro-life group, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), is reporting that leaders in the U.S. House are attempting to bypass a rule that would force a vote on abortion funding in health care with a new rule that will insert phony pro-life language into the bill. This critical vote is expected to occur tomorrow or Saturday.
This new rule was proposed by pro-life Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) and would exclude an amendment proposed by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI). Rep. Ellsworth is one of 40 democrats who has said he will not vote for any health care plan that does not prohibit federal funding of abortion.
On his website, Rep. Ellsworth says he is preparing to pursue alternative means to address pro-life concerns.
“When you’re going into battle, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan,” said Ellsworth. “The bottom line is we’re going to exhaust every avenue to ensure pro-life concerns are addressed in this legislation.”
Ellsworth’s proposal would make five key pro-life changes to the bill to try to prevent federal tax dollars from being used to fund abortions, and to give Americans access to pro-life insurance options in the proposed Health Insurance Exchange.
However, Ellsworth’s language, which was drafted in collusion with the stridently pro-abortion Rep. Henry Waxman and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is riddled with holes.
“The Ellsworth language is a political fig leaf made out of cellophane,” explains Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the NRLC. “It directs the federal Secretary of Health to hire a contractor to deliver to abortion providers the payments for elective abortions, payments that are explicitly authorized by the bill [on page 110]. This is a money-laundering scheme — a federally funded ‘bag man’ will deliver government funds to abortionists. This is federal funding of elective abortion.”
The NRLC is urging every pro-life citizen to immediately telephone both the Washington DC and local office of their representative and deliver a clear and firm message to vote “no” on the new Rule because it does not allow the House to vote on the true pro-life amendment proposed by Rep. Bart. Stupak.
“Even if you have already called and written your federal representatives about the health care bills, it is critical that you call again now,” the NRLC writes. “Pelosi’s party currently controls the House by a margin of 256-177 — but if as few as 40 Democrats are persuaded to vote with Congressman Stupak in opposition to the ‘closed rule,’ it would be impossible for Pelosi to ram the abortion-funding H.R. 3962 through the House. Time is short.”