First the good news. From the Associated Press, today…
A Senate committee voted Tuesday night to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education that President Barack Obama has pushed to eliminate.
The 12-11 vote by the Senate Finance Committee came over objections from its chairman, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of MT.
Two Democrats – Kent Conrad of ND and Blanche Lincoln of AR – joined all 10 committee Republicans in voting “yes” on the measure by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of UT.
This restoration is by no means safe. Lots of legislative minefields lay ahead.
Then the bad news. From Americans United for Life today:
Today, in a vote of 10-13 in the Senate Finance Committee, the Hatch Amendment #C14 was defeated. The amendment would have explicitly prohibited federal funding and coverage of abortions.
The Committee also voted down [also 10-13] an amendment by Senator Hatch that would have prevented discrimination against any individual or entity who refused to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
If abortion isn’t in healthcare, why defeat a measure codifying that point? If healthcare workers and entities won’t be forced to commit abortions, why defeat a measure codifying that point?