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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

The New York Times

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, fresh off their abortion victory on health care legislation in the House, has joined the battle in the Senate and called for the same amendment that it pushed through the House.

In a letter Friday (PDF) to senators, the bishops said that the language in the current bill put forth by Democratic leaders violates the principle that federal funds should not be used for abortions. If it is not amended, they said, the bill should be opposed.

The letter appears to be the opening salvo in what is expected to be a major battle over abortion in the Senate in the coming weeks.

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The Christian Post
President Obama in a rare interview appearance on Fox News this week said language used in the pro-life Stupak amendment in the House health care bill is not balanced.

Fox correspondent Major Garrett asked Obama during an interview that aired Wednesday night if he would sign a health care bill that included the Stupak language.

Obama initially gave a long-winded response saying, “I think there is a balance to be achieved that is consistent with the Hyde amendment – what existed before we reformed health care."

“I believe in the basic idea that federal dollars shouldn’t pay for abortions,” he continued. “But I also think we shouldn’t restrict women’s choices, so, I think there’s some negotiations going on, not just on the Democratic side, but I think among people of good will on both sides, to see if we can arrive at something that meets that criteria and I’m confident we can do that.”

Garrett then pressed Obama for a yes or no answer on if he thought the Stupak language “strike that balance.”

“Not yet,” Obama said.

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The Detroit News

The fight over federal funding for abortion moved to the Senate on Thursday as opponents targeted provisions that are not as restrictive as one written by a Michigan lawmaker into the version passed by the House.

Provisions that don't include a ban on federal funding aren't acceptable to anti-abortion lawmakers, Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, said Thursday, adding the fight will likely have to be resolved in a House-Senate conference committee.

"The leaders of the Congress should listen to the American people. The American people want health care reform, but they want it without federal funding of abortions," said Stupak, whose last-minute amendment to the House bill two weeks ago set off a firestorm of criticism and pressure on the Senate to follow suit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's bill would permit abortions in a government-run plan if the Health and Human Services secretary could ensure that no federal money is used, and anyone receiving federal subsidies would have to pay for an abortion with her own money. A woman receiving federal subsidies could buy a private plan that covers abortions, but would have to use her own money to pay for such a procedure.

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