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SBA List Statement on Senate Vote to Table the Pro-Life Nelson Amendment

"You can't find greater common ground than the decision to restrict government funding for abortion on-demand." 

Contact: Joy Yearout, Susan B. Anthony List, 703-380-6674

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- This evening the Senate voted 54-45 to table the pro-life amendment offered by Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, effectively killing the amendment. In response, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

    "Tonight Senator Reid invoked Henry Clay, posing as a great compromiser even as he denied the consciences of the majority of Americans. Yet Clay himself would have never blanched at Nelson's amendment, a commonsense proposal backed by 61% of America.  You can't find greater common ground than the decision to restrict government funding for abortion on-demand.  With his actions tonight, Harry Reid has effectively tabled the common ground.  
    "Senator Reid's tabling of the pro-life Nelson Amendment is just the latest reason why incumbents like Harry Reid are becoming top political targets: the disconnect between their words and actions inspire a rising populist opposition.  Senator Reid calls himself pro-life, yet he continues to advance the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade at taxpayers' expense.
    "As it stands today, there should be no question about opposing the Senate health care bill.  If you call yourself pro-life and genuinely care about preserving true common ground, you cannot possibly vote for this bill.  Pro-Life senators - the sponsors of Nelson's amendment included - must oppose this legislation.
    "As the debate continues, on behalf of the 280,000 pro-life Susan B. Anthony List members and activists nationwide, I call on Senator Casey to follow the unyielding leadership of his father, former Governor Bob Casey. Senator Casey and his Democratic colleagues now have the opportunity to honor the consistent pro-life ethic of his father."

The Nelson-Hatch Amendment, which closely mirrors the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 240-194, was co-sponsored by Sens. Robert Casey ( D-Penn.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), John Thune, (R-S.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) David Vitter (R-La.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and was supported by the Susan B. Anthony List. 

Without the addition of the bipartisan Nelson-Hatch amendment, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act explicitly authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to include abortion coverage in the public option. The bill also allows the use of government subsidies to purchase insurance policies that include elective abortion coverage.

As part of its Votes Have Consequences project, the Susan B. Anthony List has funded $130,000 in television (video), radio ads and educational phone calls across Nevada calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to defend Life in health care reform. 

For the last several months, the Susan B. Anthony List has mobilized tens of thousands of pro-life Americans nationwide to urge Congress to exclude abortion from healthcare reform.  Susan B. Anthony List activists have sent nearly 500,000 letters to Congress requesting an explicit exclusion of abortion from health care reform.

The Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of Americans, over 167,000 residing in all 50 states, dedicated to mobilizing, advancing, and representing pro-life women in politics. Its connected Candidate Fund increases the percentage of pro-life women in the political process.