Communications Department

35 Senators Warn Against Smuggling Pro-Abortion Policy Changes into Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Dec 7, 2009 | AHC

WASHINGTON (December 7, 2009) —  Thirty-five senators today warned congressional Democratic leaders against attempting to use omnibus appropriations legislation as a vehicle to overturn longstanding pro-life policies on three different issues.  

In a letter delivered today to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nv.), the 35 Republican senators, led by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), warned that if any of the provisions making pro-abortion policy changes are included, the omnibus legislation will face stiff resistance.  “We want to assure you that we are prepared to take full advantage of our rights under Senate rules” to prevent enactment of the abortion-related provisions, the letter states.
To view or download a copy of the letter in the PDF format, click here.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), commented: “At the same time that congressional Democratic leaders are trying to win enactment of government-funded abortion in their health care legislation, they are also considering using end-of-year omnibus appropriations legislation to try to smuggle in removals of longstanding bans on government-funded abortion in the nation’s Capitol, and in their own insurance plans.”
Democratic leaders are currently crafting omnibus appropriations legislation that will encompass most or all of the seven regular appropriations bills that have not yet been enacted for the current fiscal year.
The possible abortion-related provisions at issue would:
— lift a longstanding ban on funding of abortions by the city government of Washington, D.C., allowing funding of abortion on demand with funds appropriated by Congress.
— lift a longstanding ban on coverage of elective abortions in the private health plans that participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, which covers over 7 million federal employees and dependents, including most members of Congress.
—  permanently prevent any U.S. president from restricting U.S. funding of foreign organizations that are committed to promoting abortion as a method of birth control.
None of these three provisions were considered by the full Senate.   The first two are part of the Financial Services appropriations bill (S. 1432) as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee (the language lifting the ban on government-funded elective abortions in D.C. is also in the House-passed bill, H.R. 3170).  The third provision, the Lautenberg Amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill (S. 1434), was added to the bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee; it has not been approved by either the House or the Senate.
For further information on these issues, contact:
Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director
National Right to Life Committee
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