WASHINGTON (October 29, 2007) -- As early as this week, the U.S. Senate will cast an important vote on federal funding of abortion.
The Senate is expected to take up S. 1200, a bill to make extensive changes to the laws governing federal health programs for American Indians, which are administered by the Indian Health Service.
Some years ago, federal Indian Health Service (IHS) funds were used to provide abortion on demand. That is not occurring at the present, but it is necessary to amend the permanent law to ensure that it does not occur again in the future. That goal would be achieved by an amendment that pro-life Senator David Vitter (R-La.) intends to offer when the Senate takes up S. 1200.
The Vitter Amendment is similar to the Hyde Amendment, but would permanently apply to the IHS. If enacted, it would alter the basic IHS law to permanently prohibit federal funding of abortion (except to save the life of the mother, rape, or incest) in all federal Indian health programs.
For a number of senators, this will be the first time that they vote on the issue of direct federal funding of abortion. That is because the Senate has not conducted a roll call vote squarely on an amendment to prohibit direct funding of abortion procedures since 1999. (However, the Senate has voted repeatedly on related issues, such as funding for organizations that promote abortion and the use of federal military facilities for self-funded abortions.) All U.S. Senators need to hear immediately from constituents who are opposed to federal funding of abortion.
PLEASE CALL NOW!
The surest, fastest, and most helpful way to communicate with senators on this matter is to use the NRLC "Call Alert" tool on the NRLC website's Legislative Action Center, here.
This handy tool provides you with the phone numbers of your two U.S. senators, and short talking points that will help you deliver the right message. Also, the tool gives you an easy way to send NRLC an e-mail to report on what your senators' staffpersons said, if you choose to do so (this helps NRLC's lobbying efforts).
YOU CAN SEND E-MAILS TOO, BUT . . .
If you prefer to send an e-mail to your senators rather than call, NRLC has provided a suggested message that you can send with a few mouse clicks, here. However, be aware that congressional offices are receiving huge volumes of e-mail messages on many issues, and in many offices such messages may not be reviewed and counted for a considerable period of time.
To read NRLC's letter to the Senate on this issue, click here.
To review NRLC scorecards of how your senators (and House members) have voted on other key pro-life issues, click here.