Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fed. Insurance for Abortion isn't Funding Abortion: Sen. Boxer

Democrat Sens. Franken & Boxer say that conservatives are "twisting/turning what the meaning is of federal funds" when pro-lifers say that federal subsidizing of health care insurance (which includes abortion coverage) is essentially taxpayers providing monetary incentive for abortion.

For background, read Left Fears a Take-down of Planned Parenthood, and also read Defund Planned Parenthood: New Coalition Launched

-- From "Abortion debate heats up on Capitol Hill" by Felicia Sonmez, Washington Post Staff Writer 2/9/11

. . . H.R. 3 - also known as the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" - would eliminate tax breaks for abortions and permanently prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions in all federal programs by codifying the Hyde Amendment, which typically is renewed annually. It also would reinstate a ban on abortion funding in the District, a move that some have contended would infringe on the city's right to self-government. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

The other, H.R. 358 - known as the "Protect Life Act" - would prohibit federal funding for abortions under the new national health-care law and also would prevent funding from being withheld from institutions that are opposed to providing abortions. It is sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.).

Abortion rights advocates contend that the proposals would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortions in cases where the woman's life is threatened. They also argue that the bills go too far in prohibiting women from using their own money to obtain insurance that covers a range of reproductive care.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Abortion Funding Showdown Escalates" by Stephanie Condon, CBS News 2/8/11

Democratic lawmakers held press conferences today decrying a set of anti-abortion bills in Congress as an "attack on women's health," as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) put it. Meanwhile, [dozens of] protesters against the legislation, wearing red tape over their mouths, were escorted by police out of a congressional hearing room today for silently interrupting a panel discussion on the issue. As they walked out, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said the current debate is about whether it is the federal government's role "to fund a practice that continues to take the lives of over 1 million little Americans every year." [Recommended viewing: House hearing on H.R. 3 - click for C-Span video.]

The political action committee of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), chair of the House Tea Party caucus and a rising national figure in the Republican party, sent a fundraising e-mail to its supporters this week, targeting Planned Parenthood. In the e-mail, Bachmann lamented the "Fifty three million lives have been snuffed out at abortion clinics around our nation since 1973," the year of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and she promised her PAC would support politicians "who agree that abortion is a crime and must be stopped immediately."

Planned Parenthood is striking back against the Republican assault, mounting a new round of grassroots activism to raise opposition to the two anti-abortion funding bills. The group is organizing nationwide phone banking and e-mail campaigns, in-district visits to congressional offices and circulating a "Stand with Planned Parenthood"petition.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Senate Dems vow abortion bills block" by Shira Toeplitz, Politico 2/8/11

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told reporters “I do think we’ll have 41” votes necessary to block legislation backed by some members of House GOP leadership that would further restrict federal funds for abortions. Boxer was referring to a procedural maneuver that would require 60 votes to get a bill to the floor.

Boxer and Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Kirstin Gillibrand of New York, Patty Murray of Washington, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are likely have the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in their efforts to thwart the legislation. A spokesman for Reid told POLITICO he supports the abortion language passed in the health care overhaul law last year.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told POLITICO that he would “take a look at what the House sends over and see what’s appropriate,” but his spokesman said the GOP senator opposes federal funding for abortion — a position that puts him in line with many House Republicans who support the anti-abortion measures.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.