Earlier today I had a post pulling together right-wing reaction to the defeat of Sen. Ben Nelson’s anti-choice amendment to the healthcare reform legislation and it seems as if they are not about to take the defeat lying down, and so they are mobilizing to get Senators to filibuster the bill:
“[T]his is a long way from over,” the National Right to Life Committee said in a statement, noting that the bill again must pass the House, where there are a bloc of pro-life Democrats.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he found Tuesday’s Senate vote both “discouraging and encouraging.”
“It’s discouraging that the Senate as a whole could not comprehend the need to respect the will of 70 percent of the American people that public funds should not pay for or subsidize the killing of our nation’s unborn citizens,” Land told Baptist Press. “It was encouraging in that the motion to table got 54 votes, well short of the 60 needed to stop a filibuster. As long as there are sufficient pro-life senators such as Sen. Nelson who are willing to filibuster any health legislation that does not contain these restrictions on abortion, it will be difficult to break the filibuster and pass the entire bill.
“In that case,” Land added, “then pro-choice supporters will have to decide between their pro-choice convictions and their desire for a vastly increased government role in health care.”
Other groups, including the Family Research Council, Democrats for Life, Concerned Women for America and Americans United for Life, also said they would support a filibuster.
“We now have no choice but to work vigorously to defeat this bill,” Americans United for Life said.
Pro-life groups are trying to pressure those and other Democratic senators to support a filibuster if pro-life language isn’t added. The Family Research Council says it is calling every household in Arkansas, South Dakota and Louisiana — all conservative states with Democratic senators — to conduct a survey on such topics as abortion funding, rationing, higher taxes and the public option. It is also calling pro-life households in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Participants who answer a particular way will be given information on contacting their senators, an FRC release stated. Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Jim Webb (Va.) and Mark Warner (Va.) all sided with pro-choicers in voting to table the Nelson amendment.
“We’re doing everything in our power to make sure that the constituents of those senators know that those senators are voting to expand abortion in this country,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.