Catholic Politicians Continue to Advance Abortion Lobby Agenda

July 19, 2009

Catholic Politicians Continue to Advance Abortion Lobby Agenda

July 19, 2009 - Pro-life legislators in the House and Senate are working overtime battling attempts to broaden abortion policy in both appropriation bills and the healthcare reform bill. Some Catholic politicians have led efforts to advance the abortion lobby agenda making abortion universally accessible and funded by taxpayer dollars.

Congress typically works on appropriation bills during the summer months. This year is no different except that Democrats are preventing open debate on controversial issues like abortion. Attempts by legislators to offer pro-life amendments to appropriation bills have been thwarted - much of this opposition from Catholic lawmakers.

Funding Abortions in District of Columbia

Last week the Financial Services Appropriations Bill was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 218-208. This bill funds the District of Columbia's city budget. A subcommittee left out the Dornan amendment which prohibits public funding of abortion, at the president’s request. An amendment offered by Representatives Tiahrt and Davis to restore the Dornan amendment was defeated in committee due to the leadership of two committee chairs, Catholic Reps. David Obey (D-WI), and Jose Serrano (D-NY).

A later attempt to bring the amendment to the full House floor was unsuccessful when Democrat leadership and Catholic House Speaker Pelosi delayed a rules vote and allowed four Democrats, Reps. Berry, Dingell, Minnick and Peters to change their votes to avoid a vote on the pro-life amendment that would stop taxpayers from having to pay for abortions Washington D.C.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, charged that Pelosi had "muzzled" both Republicans and Democrats who supported the pro-life measure.

Representative Dingell, a Catholic, has a 22% pro-life voting record - Pelosi's pro-life record over the last 22 years is at 1%.

Funding Abortions in International Clinics

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week 17-11 to approve an amendment offered by Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) that would permanently nullify the Mexico City policy. This policy which prohibits taxpayer funds from going to international groups that promote or perform abortions was rescinded by President Obama in January.

This policy first put into effect by President Reagan, was rescinded by President Clinton, and reinstated by President Bush. By attaching this amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (S. 1434) it codifies President Obama's action and would require a subsequent bill to restore. It would no longer be at the discretion of a president to restore the Mexico City Policy.

The provision offered by Senator Lautenberg was co-sponsored by four prominent Catholic Senators, Leahy (D-VT), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), and Collins (D-ME). Senators Mikulski, Collins and Murray have accepted over $1,600,000 from abortion lobby groups. Abortion groups have been lobbying heavily to permanently kill the Mexico City policy.

Abortion in Health Care Reform

Last week the health care bill was discussed in the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP). Two Catholic Senators contributed to advancing abortion policy within the health care bill. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) was praised by the abortion lobby group NARAL for his leadership in rejecting attempts by pro-life legislators to amend the bill and institute abortion limits. Democrats defeated all four pro-life amendments on party-line votes except for Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), a Catholic, and the only Democrat who voted with Republicans in support of abortion limits.

Senator Mikulski was caught offering an obscurely worded amendment that would allow for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to be included in the health care system. When she reluctantly confirmed that abortions could be included in abortion provider services, Senator Hatch asked Mikulski to include language that stated, ‘Not including abortion services’?” to garner more support for her amendment. Mikulski responded that she would not consider it. The amendment passed and will be considered later by the full Senate.

U.S. Bishops on Health Care Reform

Bishop William F. Murphy, Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development sent a letter in late May to the US Senate Committee on Finance, members of Congress, and the White House that stated, "While we support reforming our nation’s health care system, we must also be clear in strongly opposing inclusion of abortion as part of a national health care benefit."

"No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for or participate in the destruction of human life. To preserve this principle is morally right and politically wise as well," continued Murphy. "No health care legislation that compels Americans to pay for or participate in abortion will find sufficient votes to pass."

Reprinted with permission of Lisa Correnti and One Nation Under God.
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