Abortion Amendments voted down in U.S. Senate Finance Committee
Two proposed abortion amendments to the working version of the Health Care Bill were defeated in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee within days of each other.
Hatch Amendment C13 would have a) prevented discrimination against health care providers (individuals like doctors or health care institutions like hospitals) who wanted to opt out of doing abortions on the grounds of moral or religious beliefs; and b) that the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services would be the assigned recipient of discrimination complaints.
Hatch C14 (both amendments named for their creator, Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT) would have provided stronger language against the use of taxpayer money for abortions.
The full text of both amendments, plus which members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted for and against, can be seen here at Earth Times.
Current law prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions except for “rape, incest or the life of the mother.” But the wording of the Baucus Bill, which passed this week around the same time as the defeat of C14, may allow taxpayer dollars to be used for abortion due to wording which only qualifies “certain” federal funds and “certain recipients” to be exempt. Pro-life members of Congress and various pro-life organizations are worried this could possibly broad-stroke into existence a loophole to use taxpayer dollars.
According to Guttmacher Institute statistics, abortions due to rape, incest or health of the mother account for only 1.5-2% of all legal abortions. However, “health of the mother” is becoming more and more subjective. What constitutes “health” is left up to abortion providers and their patients. Former Surgeon General Everett C. Koop, along with a group of hundreds of doctors called Physicians for Life, repeatedly testifies that abortion is the least safe way to save the life of a mother, and that Caesarean section delivery is always preferable.