WASHINGTON (BP)--Some of the nation's top pro-life leaders warned Friday that the nation's abortion rate could go up if the House passes the health care bill during an expected Sunday vote.
"This legislation, if passed, will be the largest expansion of abortion since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973."
-- Richard Land
Their statement came on a day when Democratic House leaders continued to try to find the votes to pass the bill and groups on both sides of the fence contacted undecided representatives who will determine the vote's outcome. For instance, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission personally delivered letters to 104 Democrats Thursday and Friday, urging a "no" vote on the bill and calling the proposal's abortion language "unconscionable."
It figures to be a tight vote. It takes 216 votes in the current House of 431 representatives to pass or defeat a bill, assuming everyone is present. All 178 Republicans are expected to vote against it, which means Democratic leaders must find all 216 votes within their 253-member caucus. Various tallies Friday had Democrats as close as two votes or as far away as a couple dozen in reaching 216.
Pro-life groups spent much of Friday getting their message out and urging their constituents to call their House member.
"The bottom line is current legislation will result in government funding of elective abortion, which will lead, as some experts project, to a 30 percent increase in abortions in America," Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press. "This legislation, if passed, will be the largest expansion of abortion since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins agreed.
"Anything that the government offers to pay for, it gets more of. There's no question that you would see an expansion of the abortion rate in America [if the bill passes]," Perkins said during a conference call with reporters.
Richard Doerflinger, a legislative expert with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the bishops will continue to oppose the bill if the abortion language is not changed. He also said the abortion rate could go up. Read More