From Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) on the Senate floor:
It should be abundantly clear to each member of this body that the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed pro-life language exactly two weeks ago markedly different from that contained in the Reid proposal.
The House provisions, in contrast to the terribly flawed provisions in the Reid bill, contained language that would not only safeguard the rights of the unborn but also would prevent medical providers from being coerced into performing procedures that violate their conscience.
The Stupak/Pitts amendment was adopted by a significant margin – 240 to 194. That represents 55 percent of the House of Representatives, including 25 percent of the Democratic caucus.
Even more telling is two polls released this week by the Washington Post and ABC News and CNN. They confirmed that 61 percent of the American population does not support federal funding for abortion. This vote should serve as a strong signal to each member of the Senate that these protections cannot be ignored and must be contained in any measure that we adopt.
Unfortunately, the language in the Reid bill explicitly allows what the Stupak/Pitts language would prevent. The Reid language authorizes abortion in the government operated health plan (or the public option) and federal subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion. It is not the Stupak/Pitts language. And the sanctity of life is not an issue that can be traded away for political expediency.