The Senate Finance Committee torpedoed two key pro-life amendments on Wednesday designed to prevent government-subsidies of abortion and guarantee conscience protections for health-care providers in the health-care reform bill.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) proposed to amend the “America’s Health Future Act of 2009” under consideration by the Finance Committee led by Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). His amendments would have codified current conscience protections for health-care providers with moral objections to abortion and also made permanent the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from paying for abortions.
Hatch instead proposed that women could purchase additional coverage for abortions through “riders” that would not be subsidized by the government.
However, the amendments were rejected by the Committee by votes of 13 – 10. In both amendments, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) joined committee Republicans in support of the measures, while pro-abortion Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) joined Baucus’ committee Democrats to vote against the bill.
In case you’re interested, over at the Missouri Right to Life blog I posted a detailed analysis from our legal counsel of the Baucus health care proposal and how it will promote abortion and fund abortion with public money: