As predicted, the pro-abort Senate Democrat leadership orchestrated a vote to table the Nelson/Hatch/Casey pro-life amendment to their socialized healthcare bill. (Note that co-sponsor Bob Casey has been added to the amendment’s title, making it a pro-life Democrat sandwich.)
The vote was 54-45, and tabling means the amendment has been set aside and has effectively failed. Since this was a vote to table rather than a vote on passage, the pro-life vote was NAY. The vote breakdown…
45 Nay Votes (pro-life vote)
7 Democrats (Bayh of IN, Casey of PA, Conrad of ND, Dorgan of ND, Kaufman of DE, Nelson of NE, and Pryor of AR)
54 Yea Votes (anti-life vote)
2 Independents (Lieberman of CT and Sanders of VT)
2 Republicans (Collins and Snowe, both of ME)
1 Democrat (Byrd of WV)
Of note is Sens. Johnson (SD), Landrieu (LA), and Reid (NV) voted to table this amendment despite having voted for a similar amendment to prohibit government funding for abortion in the Indian Health Service in 2008. Also recall Reid professes to be pro-life.
Also as predicted, the other side is proclaiming victory, for instance an email from the National Partnership for Women & Families saying, “Nice work! Your voice was heard. The Senate just defeated the outrageous Nelson-Hatch anti-choice amendment….”
Politico reported the reality, however: “Nelson plan dead, but abortion impasse lives,” in a piece entitled, in part, “Could abortion still be a bill-killer?”
National Right to Life explained what the vote yesterday meant and what the next step is:
A majority of senators today voted to keep abortion covered in the proposed federal government insurance program, and to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand.
Now, the vote on cloture on the bill itself will become the key vote on whether to put the federal government into the abortion business. We will oppose cloture on the bill, which would require 60 affirmative votes.
In addition, a number of pro-life Democrats in the House, who supported passage of health care legislation on November 7, will not vote for the Senate bill in its current form. So, this is a long way from over.
[Photo via Reuters]