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The Baucus Ruckus

This week the debate over health care reform moved from broad platitudes to specifics on abortion funding and abstinence education.

As health care reform moved through the Senate this week, Christian political advocacy groups eyed two amendments: one they lost and another they won. The groups carefully followed the Senate Finance Committee hearings on health care legislation proposed by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mon.).

1. Banning Public Funding of Abortion

Several groups lobbied for an amendment by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to permanently ban federally funded abortions. Family Research Council Action, Focus on the Family Action, and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) targeted Senators on the committee, but only one Democrat—Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)—voted for Hatch's amendment. The abortion ban failed with a vote of 13-10. Like many groups, Americans United for Life vowed to keep on the issue to ensure that lawmakers fail in any "attempt to 'mainstream' abortion as health care."

2. Funding Abstinence Education

Focus on the Family Action and other groups applauded the committee's decision ...

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