Ellsworth, Donnelly support pro-abortion health reform act

May 18, 2010

Indiana congressmen Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly stunned pro-life Hoosiers on Sunday, March 21, when they broke ongoing promises to oppose any health care that included federal funding for abortion by supporting H.R. 3590, President Obama’s pro-abortion health care reform act. National Right to Life calls the bill the largest expansion of abortion in the United States since 1973 and warns that it will have devastating effect on unborn children.

Prior to Ellsworth announcing his flip-flop on late Friday, March 19, a small group of Democrats under the direction of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) seemed prepared to defeat the bill unless its abortion funding provisions were removed. Ellsworth’s defection triggered the unraveling of that coalition, ultimately drawing Donnelly with him in supporting the bill.

All 219 votes cast in favor of the vote were by Democrats.

Other Indiana congressmen supporting the bill include Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Baron Hill, and Rep. Peter Visclosky. The bill was opposed by Rep. Steve Buyer, Rep. Mark Souder, Rep. Mike Pence, and Rep. Dan Burton.

Abortion provisions of the bill include direct funding of abortion through the Community Health Centers program, federally administered and subsidized abortion plans, a glaring lack of conscience protection language, and more.

Just weeks before the final vote, Ellsworth issued a press release stating, “But I want to make it clear, as I have said many times, I will not support a bill that I believe would result in federal tax dollars being used to pay for elective abortions. Period.”

In an urgent statement to legislators just prior to the House vote, National Right to Life stated, “A lawmaker who votes for this bill is voting to require federal agencies to subsidize and administer health plans that will pay for elective abortions, and to undo longstanding pro-life policies in other ways as well.”

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