UPDATE 8:25p: Per Family Research Council in an email alert this afternoon:

While this is not the end of the bill (it will return after the election) this is a major victory for the men and women who sacrificially serve our nation in uniform and their families.

4:09p: This afternoon a vote on the motion to proceed to the Dept. of Defense Authorization bill failed 56-43.

Democrat AR Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor joined a united block of Republicans (sans Lisa Murkowski, who didn’t vote) to stop the measure from moving forward. Majority Leader Harry Reid supported the bill before he voted against it (for procedural reasons).

The DOD bill includes IL Sen. Roland Burris’s amendment that would force military medical facilities both domestic and overseas to commit abortions.

This means the pro-abortion measure along with the bill has stalled.

Unfortunately, according to my source in the Senate, this fight is by no means over.

The bill contains 2 other liberal add-on amendments that could be removed as bargaining chips in an effort to pass it:

  • The DREAM Act, which would allow illegal aliens under age 30 to gain American citizenship if joining the military or attending college for 2 years;
  • The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which would allow homosexuals to openly serve in the military.

There is no way to know if and when Democrats will reconsider this bill, as they’ve already moved on to another.

There is also no way of knowing which amendments, if any, they’ll be willing to remove in order to get this thing passed.

The misnomered Republican Majority for Choice blogger complained:

Unfortunately, reproductive rights for women in the military have been pushed aside once again, due to partisan games surrounding ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Although officials on both sides of the aisle are ready and willing to stand up for the protection of women, today’s procedural vote has stalled any further discussion on other aspects of the defense bill.

This is a short-term victory. But keep making your calls.

[Photo via AllGov.com]

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