Senate Rejects Stupak-Pitts Language in Health Care Reform

December 9, 2009

In a vote late on Tuesday, the Senate rejected an amendment to their health care reform bill proposed by Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Orrin Hatch of Utah that would have severely limited access to abortion services for women across America. The language of the amendment was virtually identical to that of the Stupak-Pitts amendment included in the House version of the bill last month.   However, the Senate voted to table the measure 54-45, which effectively kills its chances of becoming part of the Senate health care proposal. Seven Democrats joined most of the Republicans in the chamber in voting against the tabling measure. They were: Sen. Bayh (IN), Sen. Casey (PN), Se. Conrad (ND), Sen. Dorgan (ND), Sen. Kaufman (DE), Sen. Nelson (NE), and Sen. Pryor (AR). Additionally, both of Maine’s Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins voted for the tabling measure.


Because the House bill has the restrictive Stupak-Pitts amendment and the Senate version does not, a conference committee made up of the House and Senate leadership will need to hammer out the differences between the two when the Senate finally passes its version of health reform.