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Pro-lifers battle Pelosi as health-care reform faces critical test

Catholic World News - November 06, 2009

With the US House of Representatives scheduled to vote on November 7 on a proposed health-care reform bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is struggling to rally support for the legislation, with informed observers on Capitol Hill predicting an extremely tight vote. If the bill is approved by the House, it will still face a lengthy debate in the Senate, with a final vote there unlikely to take place before the end of the calendar year.

Hoping to ease pro-life opposition to the bill, Congressman Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, a Democrat who has a pro-life voting record, has offered an amendment that purports to strip abortion funding from the measure. But Richard Doerflinger of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says that the amendment is "not a meaningful compromise," charging that the change is an accounting gimmick-- a "money-laundering sytem"-- rather than a real elimination of abortion subsidies. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee agreed, saying that the Ellsworth amendment "serves no purpose except to assist the pro-abortion House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to peel votes away from the authentic pro-life amendment, the Stupak amendment." Johnson adds: "I say, when you're going into battle, it is always unpleasant to be bayoneted in the back by somebody who said that he was on your side."

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