What's next, knitting needles?
Stay tuned for a reprint of my article on abortion.
New York Times excerpt:
Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill
November 20, 2004 By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and CARL HULSE
WASHINGTON, Saturday, Nov. 20 - House and Senate negotiators have tucked a potentially far-reaching anti-abortion provision into a $388 billion must-pass spending bill, complicating plans for Congress to wrap up its business and adjourn for the year.
The provision may be an early indication of the growing political muscle of social conservatives who provided crucial support for Republican candidates, including President Bush, in the election.
House officials said Saturday morning that the final details of the spending measure were worked out before midnight and that the bill was filed for the House vote on Saturday.
The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.
"It's something we've had a longstanding interest in," said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee. He added, "This is in response to an orchestrated campaign by pro-abortion groups across the country to use government agencies to coerce health care providers to participate in abortions."
Full article can be seen here. Registration (easy, free, and fast) required.