Pro-life groups are firing warning shots at Senate leadership’s newly released “discussion draft” of a bill to address Obamacare, citing concerns that the current version won’t do enough to protect the rights of the preborn or cut off the abortion industry’s tax dollar pipeline.
“The expectations of the pro-life movement have been very clear,” reads a joint statement from the Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council. “The health care bill must not indefinitely subsidize abortion and must re-direct abortion giant Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to community health centers.”
Currently, the bill contains provisions that would defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers for a single year.
“The Senate discussion draft includes these pro-life priorities, but we remain very concerned that either of these priorities could be removed from the bill for procedural or political reasons,” it continues. “We are working closely with our pro-life allies in the Senate to prevent this from happening as it could result in our opposition.”
However, concerns in the pro-life world still exist that this provision could be stripped out either due to the Senate’s Byrd Rule or to garner the votes of Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who have previously stated that they won’t vote to defund abortions.
"While we appreciate the inclusion of language to redirect federal funds away from abortion groups like Planned Parenthood, the reality is that necessary pro-life protections in this bill will be stripped by the Senate Parliamentarian,” reads a statement from March for Life president Jeanne Mancini. “If this happens, one of the most egregious aspects of Obamacare — tax credits for plans covering abortion — will continue under this Administration and Congress. Abortion is not healthcare."
Additionally, the bill is currently facing make-or-break opposition from a small group of Senate Republicans, who announced Thursday that they would not vote for the bill as written because it currently does not do enough to get rid of Obamacare – something with which Obamacare’s chief architect agrees.
In order to get a necessary majority vote to pass the bill, Senate leadership can only afford two “nay” votes, which then result in a tie-breaking vote from the vice president.
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