Dems Vote To Force Healthcare Providers to Perform Abortions
To protect the freedom of conscience for patients and the right of health care providers to serve patients without violating their moral and religious convictions.
The vote was 41 to 56 against the amendment.
Senators Snowe, Collins and Specter voted with democrats on the amendment.
The Coburn Amendment would protect healthcare providers who chose not to perform abortions on moral or religious grounds.
Democrats voted this down.
Senator Coburn has more on the amendment at his website:
Amendment 828 – Protecting Patients and Health Care Providers from Government Health Care Coercion
This amendment ensures that the funds made available through the budget’s health care reserve fund will not be used to violate the conscience of health care providers or to allow government bureaucrats to make health care choices for patients, including which doctors they may see.
The budget includes a $634 billion reserve fund that the President has called a “down-payment” for health care reform. The budget includes the eight principles that the administration has identified that should be included in health reform legislation. This amendment would add the important principle that health reform should protect, rather than limit, the freedom of conscience of patients and providers…
Conscience protections for physicians and health providers are based on 35 years of statutory intent—health care reform should remain consistent with this tradition.
Dating back to the “Church amendment” of 1973, health care providers are protected from discrimination if they object to participation in certain medical procedures based on moral or religious convictions.2 This law was strengthened in a 1996 Public Health Service Act amendment, which prohibits federal, state, and local governments from discriminating against health care entities and providers that do not provide, train in, or refer for abortions.3 In 2004, the Hyde-Weldon amendment, which has subsequently been approved every year since 2004, further reinforced this statutory intent4:
None of the funds made available in this Act may be made available to a Federal agency or program, or to a State or local government, if such agency, program, or government subjects any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
Don’t expect this news to make too many headlines tomorrow.