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House approves Stupak amendment in major pro-life victory

November 09, 2009

In a pro-life legislative victory that both sides are calling the most significant since the ban on partial-birth abortion, the House of Representatives voted 240-194 on November 7 to bar the use of federal funds from paying for most abortions in its health care reform legislation. The passage of the Stupak amendment-- more properly, the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Kaptur-Dahlkemper-Lipinski-Smith Amendment-- took place after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to permit a vote on the measure.

The Stupak amendment, noted Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William Murphy, “will keep in place current federal law on abortion funding and conscience protections.” Reflecting the current language of the Hyde Amendment, the bill would permit the federal funding of abortions in the cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.

The future of the Stupak amendment is uncertain. If the Senate passes health care reform legislation, a conference committee will decide the amendment’s fate.

Following the passage of the Stupak amendment, the House of Representatives passed its health care reform legislation in a 220-215 vote. The Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) is estimated to cost $1.2 trillion over ten years.


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  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Nov. 09, 2009 6:49 PM ET USA

    The total proposal for government-run health care is inherently anti-life. A limit on some government funding of abortion is positive, yet a rather pyrrhic victory. If the bill passes into law the government (not patients and doctors) obtains total control over what and how patients will be treated solely upon a cost-benefit basis (remember that Pres Obama said that old people should get pain management and not health care). This is immoral and must be opposed.

  • Posted by: jpthegr82109 - Nov. 09, 2009 4:03 PM ET USA

    While we are realistic in the true meaning of what the radical Culture of Death is doing by offering the Stupak concession, let us not forget that God is still working to make all things come together for the good. And that is what gives me great anticipation. As the situation is more and more steeped in sin and disaster, the more miraculous will be the outcome to the good. I just pray it is in my lifetime, or at least in my grandchildren's lifetime.

  • Posted by: New Sister - Nov. 09, 2009 1:01 PM ET USA

    I agree with Linus - One cannot take an enemy giving ground as victory in a war...this is a move to draw health-care into government-controlled terrain where an envelopment will inevitably take place later.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2009 10:48 AM ET USA

    Let's not get too excited about this amendment since this odds are really high that abortion comes back during a House - Senate conference on a final bill. If abortion had really been ruled out you hear loud wailing from the radical Democrats, but all is quiet. Pelosi simply bought off Stupak for a short term win.

  • Posted by: sparch - Nov. 09, 2009 10:25 AM ET USA

    Once the health care bill is passed, it will be only a matter of time before we will pay for abortions and euthinasia. Both the Democrats and Republicans can not help themselves when these issues become politically popular.