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'Protect Life Act' Advances in the House Despite Questions over Terms

On Friday the House of Representatives Health Subcommittee approved the Protect Life Act (HR 358) that would put into law a ban on federal funding of abortion in last year's health care law. The bill is nearly a copy of a similar measure in 2009. However, the small differences from the original measure make the bill a heightened issue.

The Protect Life Act uses the Stupak-Pitts amendment that would have explicitly banned any connection between federal funds and abortion services. The amendment passed the House, but it was not included in the final version of the Affordable Care Act. The new bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.), would codify the ban that is currently included as an executive order signed after the act was signed into law.

Addressing both abortion and the act, the bill was bound to be a flashpoint, but it became even more controversial because of small changes to the original Stupak-Pitts language that said federal funds could not be used for abortion except to save ...

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