Weve been keeping you posted on the fight for life that is being waged within the national health care legislation. Unfortunately, there have been some Members of Congress who have tried to play both sides of the issue. I want to simply lay out the facts about what happened late last Thursday, July 30, 2009 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, so that there is no confusion about what occurred.
As you know, the Committee spent long days and late nights over the past two weeks considering sweeping health care legislation that, among other problems, would dramatically expand the number of abortions, as well as the number of taxpayer-subsidized abortions. The ACLJ has been supporting a number of amendments that would help solve this significant problem.
One of the most important amendments in this effort was offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI). This amendment would have ensured that no insurance plan (public or private) could be mandated to cover abortion, and that no taxpayer-funded plan could cover abortion. In a bipartisan vote at approximately 9:34 p.m., this important amendment initially passed 31-27 (the Committee Clerks tally can be viewed here). This tally included a last minute switch from no to yes by Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA). This switch was made in order for Chairman Waxman to have the right to request a re-vote later in the evening. Subsequent events would suggest that the intervening time was used to lobby Members of the Committee to change their vote.
At approximately 11:20 p.m., Chairman Waxman called for another series of votes. The first vote was a motion to reconsider the previous vote on the Pitts/Stupak Amendment. With help from the 13-seat advantage held by Democrats, this motion was approved 35-24, with only one Democrat, Rep. Bart Stupak, bold enough to dissent (the Committee Clerks tally can be viewed here).
The approval of Mr. Waxmans motion enabled the reconsideration of the Pitts/Stupak Amendment. This time, the Amendment failed 29-30 (the Committee Clerks tally can be viewed here). As you can see from the Committee Clerks documents, there were three changes that allowed this change in outcome to happen:
Rep. Gordon previously had a mixed record on life issues. It appears that he has tried to have it both ways. His defense now is that he misunderstood the vote the first time, but has always been pro-choice. Judging by the tragic outcome that his late-night vote switch last week brought about, I would have to agree that his pro-abortion colors have been plainly revealed. I am disappointed that it took the defeat of such an important pro-life amendment to bring this to light. It is my hope that this occasion will cause Rep. Gordon to reassess his position on this most fundamental and critical issue.
The ACLJ today filed, jointly with the Houston Coalition for Life, an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the abortion regulation case of Whole Women’s Health v. Lakey . The state of Texas is appealing from a federal district court ruling that struck down (1)
The scandalously lax regulation of the abortion industry is a well-documented fact. From Dr. Gosnell’s “ House of Horrors ” to Steven Brigham’s decades long trail of quackery , the unique status of abortion as a politically protected procedure has resulted in countless tales of grotesque medical...
The abortion industry has gone all in this election. Big abortion knows that its bottom line is directly connected to the politics of abortion. Elect pro-abortion candidates who will deregulate dangerous abortion practices and their bottom line goes up. Elect pro-life candidates who will place even...
Today, the Supreme Court declined to weigh into a case that had the potential to cripple or even shut down pro-life pregnancy centers in New York City. Thankfully, the ruling of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Evergreen Association v. City of New York , which now stands as the final arbiter...