JEFFERSON CITY – Six of the nine Congress members from Missouri supported the pro-life amendment to the health care bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which passed on a 240-197 vote, protects the lives of the unborn by permanently prohibiting any new federal insurance program, known as the “public option,” from paying for abortion, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. It would also permanently prohibit the use of the new federal premium subsidies, called “affordability credits,” to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.
Voting for the pro-life amendment were Republican Reps. Todd Akin, Roy Blunt, Jo Ann Emerson, Sam Graves and Blaine Luetkemeyer and Democrat Ike Skelton. Voting against the pro-life amendment were Democrat Reps. Russ Carnahan, Lacy Clay and Emanuel Cleaver.
“Congress has acknowledged, with this vote, that abortion is not health care,” said Pam Fichter, president of Missouri Right to Life.
Pro-abortion advocates expressed anger over passage of the amendment. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest provider of abortions, called legislators who voted in favor of the amendment “single issue advocates” who “used health care reform to advance their extreme, ideological agenda at the expense of tens of millions of women,” and threatens that “Planned Parenthood will work with its allies in the Senate to ensure that … those who oppose abortion do not once again hijack the legislative process in their ongoing campaign to make abortion illegal.”