An amendment to the bankruptcy bill before the Senate would have prevented pro-life demonstrators from declaring bankruptcy to protect their assets from court fines or judgments. But Republicans defeated the amendment by Senator Chuck Schumer, of New York, in what is being called the first abortion showdown of the new Senate.

The vote to remove the amendment from the bill passed 53-46, and now the bankruptcy bill, which would make it more difficult for consumers to declare bankruptcy, has passed its final hurdle before the Senate will vote on the entire bill.

Schumer said the amendment "goes right to the heart of what America is all about. It says those who use violence to achieve their political goals cannot get a benefit, in this case bankruptcy."

Pro-life groups saw the bill as a specific attack on abortion protestors, not just violent ones. The amendment "unjustly targets peaceful pro-life demonstrators and treats them as violent criminals. This is blatant bigotry against free speech and pro-life activism," said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

Some may wonder why peaceful pro-life demonstrators need to worry about court fines or judgments, but it happened to Randy Alcorn for blocking the doors to an abortion clinic. But there seems to be some confusion about what violence Schumer is talking about. Surely, there are laws prohibiting anyone from bombing, or otherwise committing violence against, any kind of building.

"This vote was a loss for abortion rights advocates, in the first test of their strength in the new Senate, which has four more Republican members than the last one," reports Reuters. "For supporters of abortion rights, 'it'll be uphill sledding, that's for sure' in this Congress, said California Democratic ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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