Thursday, November 12, 2009

Preliminary Target List to Stop Stupak Amendment in Senate

It's my understanding that Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Bob Casey (D-PA) are considering proposing an amendment to the Senate's healthcare reform bill that would resemble the disastrous anti-choice Stupak-Pitts Amendment that passed in the House bill. The strategy to defeat this middle class abortion ban must have several prongs.

First, we must convince Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), an anti-choice member in the re-election race of his life, to NOT put any Stupak-like provision into the Senate bill. He is currently working to combine the HELP committee bill and the Finance committee bill, neither of which has a Stupak-like provision. If Reid is truly just the "mixer" as he says, then adding Stupak should not even be a question -- he can only combine the bills, not add new elements. In fact, the Finance bill has already addressed this question by including the House's Capps abortion-neutral language, so if Reid were to add Stupak-like language it would be a radical change to the combined bill. You can call the Majority Leader's office at 202-224-5556, and ask that he not add a Stupak-like language to the combined Senate bill.

Second, at this point it looks like there are roughly 31 senators who would likely agree to a Stupak-like amendment. That means, for an amendment strategy (assuming Reid does not add Stupak to the underlying reform bill), the anti-choicers would need to find at least 29 more votes to clear the Senate's 60 vote cloture hurdle. So, calls need to be made to senators to firm up their support against the addition of any Stupak-like provision in the Senate healthcare reform bill. Given the confusion many of the House members have expressed post-Stupak vote, its critical senators understand that Stupak IS NOT HYDE codified. It is a monumental overreach, and results in not only a middle class abortion ban but leaves poor women out in the cold as well. Further, the Stupak amendment would make abortion the only legal medical procedure expressly forbidden in the healthcare reform bill, leaving women worse off before reform when it comes to reproductive health than they are now.

See the list below:

Senate Target List
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-AR)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Arlen Specter (D-PA)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Jim Webb (D-VA)

Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask for your senator's office. Tell them you opposed the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House, and are calling to urge the senator to NOT support the inclusion of any such provision in the Senate healthcare reform bill.

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

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