HomeoldPro-Life Senators, NRLC Derail “Abortion Express Train” in Senate!

Pro-Life Senators, NRLC Derail “Abortion Express Train” in Senate!

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In a surprising turn of events, an attempt by Senate Democrat leaders to fast-track a funding bill laden with pro-abortion provisions today encountered an immovable procedural obstacle—erected by a group of pro-life senators with the strong encouragement of National Right to Life. Pro-abortion Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) attempted to move to the Senate floor a so-called “mini-bus”—a measure combining three different appropriations bills.

The combination bill included seven provisions that were objected to by National Right to Life. Among the objectionable provisions were sections that would have removed an existing ban on government funding of abortion in the District of Columbia, removed a longstanding ban on coverage of abortion in federal employees’ health plans, and earmarked $40 million for the United Nations Population Fund.

Furthermore, the bill included a provision authored by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that would have prevented any future president from limiting funding for pro-abortion organizations abroad. The last three Republican presidents have denied overseas family-planning funds to private organizations that perform or promote abortion (the so-called “Mexico City Policy”).

Senate rules do not permit the combination of appropriations bills in the manner that Reid attempted, except by unanimous consent. This means that each senator has the right to object and prevent the combination bill from advancing. Such unanimous consent has been achieved in the past for other multi-bills that did not contain pro-abortion provisions. However, today, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) addressed the Senate floor to deny Reid the “unanimous consent” that was required. Vitter was joined by other pro-life senators, including Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, commended the senators for their actions, stating, “National Right to Life commends Senators DeMint, Vitter, Paul, Lee, and their allies for courageously derailing the Abortion Express Train.”

The successful strategy pursued by NRLC has resulted in the avoidance of the necessity for specific amendments dealing with the various abortion-related issues that had been promoted in alerts disseminated by some organizations in recent days. These amendments would have faced considerable difficulty in the current Senate.

Johnson, however, warned that there are likely to be further attempts by the Senate Democratic leadership to attach pro-abortion provisions to various funding bills for the rest of the year. Johnson stated that the organization would be monitoring the appropriations bills with great vigilance.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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