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Senate debating abortion funding and health care

Catholic World News - December 07, 2009

Imminent debate in the United States Senate is expected on the Hatch-Nelson amendment, which would prevent health care reform legislation from funding abortion with federal tax dollars or mandating abortion coverage. On November 7, the House of Representatives passed the similar Stupak-Pitts amendment in a 240-193 vote.

The pro-life Senate legislation is cosponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE). Senator Nelson told the Associated Press that he expects a vote as early as December 8. Nelson has vowed to stage a filibuster, blocking progress toward a final vote on the legislation, if a strong pro-life amendment is not included. Sen. Nelson, who is known as a maverick within his party, stated plainly: "I don’t ordinarily draw a line in the sand, but I have drawn a line in the sand."

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