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US Senate defeats conscience-protection amendment

Catholic World News - April 06, 2009

By a 56-41 vote, the US Senate defeated an amendment to legislation that would have upheld the conscience rights of health care workers and institutions that do not wish to participate in abortion. Sixteen of the nation’s 25 Catholic senators voted against the amendment.

The 16 Catholic senators who voted against the conscience clause were: Begich of Alaska, Cantwell of Washington, Collins of Maine, Dodd of Connecticut, Durbin of Illinois, Gillibrand of New York, Harkin of Iowa, Kaufman of Delaware, Kerry of Massachusetts, Landrieu of Louisiana, Leahy of Vermont, McCaskill of Missouri, Menendez of New Jersey, Mikulski of Maryland, Murray of Washington, and Reed of Rhode Island. All but Collins are Democrats.

Those Catholics who voted in favor of the conscience clause were Brownback of Kansas, Bunning of Kentucky, Casey of Pennsylvania, Johanns of Nebraska, Martinez of Florida, Murkowski of Alaska, Risch of Idaho, Vitter of Louisiana, and Voinovich of Ohio. All but Casey are Republicans.

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