Sen. Ben Nelson and other pro-life Democrats to reject the Senate’s health care
bill if no revisions are made to exclude abortion funding.
In a 54-45 vote Tuesday, the
Senate rejected an amendment Nelson introduced that would have prevented women
who used government subsidies to purchase health insurance from buying into a
plan that included abortion coverage.
Nelson has threatened to
filibuster the legislation if his amendment failed, raising doubts about
whether Democrats will be able to secure the 60 votes needed to pass the health
Democratic Sen. Robert Casey of
Pennsylvania also sponsored the Nelson-Hatch Amendment, which is similar to the
Stupak-Pitts Amendment that banned federal funding of abortion in the House
“With this vote, we now call on
pro-life Democrats—including Sen. Nelson, co-sponsor of the amendment—to
follow through with the promise to reject the Senate’s health care measure
because it fails to exclude abortion funding,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel
of the American Center for Law and Justice.
More than 170,000 people signed on
to a petition the organization drafted expressing opposition to abortion
funding in the health reform bill.
“As it stands
today, there should be no question about opposing the Senate health care bill,”
said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group, the Susan B.
Anthony List. “If you call yourself pro-life and genuinely care about
preserving true common ground, you cannot possibly vote for this bill. Pro-life
senators-the sponsors of Nelson’s amendment included-must oppose this