Thursday, December 23, 2010

Victory: Senate strips provision allowing abortion on military bases from defense bill

by Peter Smith

December 22, 2010 ( - The U.S. Senate has passed the defense authorization bill for FY2011, but only after controversial provisions, including the Burris Amendment, were stripped from the measure.

The amendment would have struck out a section of the U.S. Code that has prohibited Department of Defense facilities from being used to perform abortions except in cases of rape, incest, and risk to the life of the mother. The measure was introduced by into the defense authorization bill by then-Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) during an Armed Services Committee markup in May.

Pro-life groups reacted with outrage at the time, saying that the measure would “turn every U.S. military hospital in the world into an abortion clinic.”

One hundred and eighty U.S. House members also objected to the Burris language, which was not included in the House version of the defense spending measure.

If the Senate had passed the measure with the Burris amendment, the two chambers of Congress would have had to reconcile the bills, spending even more time debating over the controversial measure with the Christmas recess deadline only days away.

Susan B. Anthony List’s President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the passage of the defense authorization bill without the Burris amendment is a sign of the pro-life movement’s growing political clout in Congress.

“This is one more example of the increased muscle of the pro-life movement,” said Dannenfelser.  “Congress heard the pro-life grassroots activists’ voices and kept abortion out of military medical facilities.  It is time for the abortion industry to stop using the military as a place to advance its agenda.”

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