WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Wednesday to ban teaching health centers from using federal money to train doctors on how to perform abortions, the latest in a series of anti-abortion measures pushed by the Republican majority.
The author of the measure, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said she wanted to make it "crystal clear that taxpayer money is not being used to train health care providers to perform abortion procedures."
The proposal was presented as an amendment to the latest of several GOP bills to restrict funding for the health care act that was enacted last year. This bill gives Congress control over spending for a program to encourage health centers to provide training to medical residents. The amendment applies to funding in that grant program.
The Foxx amendment passed 234-182 despite the objections of some Democrats that it would prevent health centers from teaching a basic medical technique that can be critical to saving a woman's life during emergencies.
"This amendment would jeopardize both education and women's health care by obliterating funding for a necessary full range of medical training by health care professionals," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo.
The Foxx amendment and the overall bill to restrict the health care act both are likely to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Since coming to power in January, the Republican majority in the House has acted to write permanently into law the ban on federal funds to perform abortions, to make it easier for hospitals to refuse abortion cases and to make it more expensive for small businesses to choose insurance plans under the health care act that provide abortion coverage. The House unsuccessfully tried to cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood as part of the battle over this year's budget.
"If organizations want to provide elective abortions or train abortion doctors they need to find someone other than taxpayers to write the checks," Foxx said.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Foxx's amendment was an unprecedented restriction on medical training. "Regardless of how one feels about legal abortion, reasonable lawmakers can agree that doctors should be as well-trained as possible to deal with any medical situation that may arise," she said.
The amendment also states that no funds available under the grant program can be used to perform abortions and that teaching health centers will not be eligible for funds if they discriminate against providers that deny abortion services.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, said the anti-discrimination provision was important because "the Obama administration has severely weakened enforcement of existing laws."
He said conscience protections get a better reception in the Senate and that, even if the Senate does not act, it was important for the House to push its anti-abortion agenda. "It usually takes more than one Congress to accomplish worthwhile legislative goals," Johnson said. "It is necessary often to build up momentum over several Congresses."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
Fair, warm and dry weather continues through Saturday, but an onshore flow will bring low clouds and fog Saturday night and much cooler weather to the county on Sunday.
Few of us really know how our coworkers spend their time when they are off the clock. In Thursday's Zevely Zone, Jeff gets to know Ryan Brothers - a writer here at KFMB Stations and News 8 - who put his own signature on Mission Trails Regional Park.
A San Marcos man who shot his girlfriend and left her body in her car, parked along northbound Interstate 15 near Escondido, was convicted Friday of first-degree murder.
A local company is on the cutting edge of ocean exploration using unmanned vehicles powered by wind and sun and the future looks bright for these ocean drones, which currently are being tested off the coast of San Diego.
Two men involved in an apparent road rage incident that ended with a rollover crash on State Route 78 in Oceanside may face charges, according to California Highway Patrol.
It's been 10 years since a young father was gunned down in Oak Park and his murder remains unsolved.
A flamingo was spotted in the South Bay earlier this week and so far local animal organizations don’t know why the bird arrived in Imperial Beach.
It's safe to say birthday parties will be a big deal for one local family. Their family tree added three new members within just 24 hours.