WASHINGTON – This afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted 51-50 to proceed to begin debating on repealing major provisions of Obamacare, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. Two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), joined with all Senate Democrats in voting against the motion to proceed.
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said, “National Right to Life urges the Senate to pass a bill with pro-life protections now. Abortion is not healthcare and Obamacare, with its multiple pro-abortion provisions, cannot continue to be the law of the land.”
National Right to Life issued a scorecard advisory letter to the members of the Senate warning that it intended to include the roll call in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 115th Congress. The letter can be found here.
The Senate now will begin debate and has the chance to protect life by moving away from multiple destructive abortion provisions of Obamacare. There will be an initial period of 20 hours of debate, followed by an open amendment process.
According to National Right to Life Federal Legislative Director Jennifer Popik, J.D., “Heavy work lies ahead, with multiple substitutes and amendments forthcoming. If this effort fails, Obamacare remains, along with its abortion-expanding provisions.”
While the final version is unclear, National Right to Life will be closely monitoring and weighing in on pro-life provisions including those related to federal funding of abortion, Planned Parenthood, and items related to the involuntary denial of life-saving medical treatment.
National Right to Life vigorously opposed enactment of the Obamacare law in 2009-2010, because of its multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion insurance, and multiple provisions allowing abortion-expansive federal mandates. According to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office in September 2014, approximately 1,000 federally subsidized health plans nationwide currently cover elective abortion.
Additionally, National Right to Life opposed the multiple provisions that will result in involuntary denial of life-saving medical treatment by placing unacceptable limits on the right of vulnerable Americans to use their own money, if they choose, to obtain both health care and health insurance less likely to deny needed health care.