Fetterman’s health, Oz’s abortion stance take center stage in crucial Senate debate
Show Caption Hide Caption Trump’s plan: Let abortion providers self-quarantine, self-inspect All 50 Republican senators plan to vote against the Trump administration’s plans to allow states to choose whether to allow abortion. But they differ on whether to require women who are pregnant to self-quarantine.
WASHINGTON – The House and Senate are in a fierce political battle, one that has left an indelible mark on how abortion is defined.
With the Senate still grappling with a series of last-minute delays, a few hours before the vote, the Senate is scheduled for one of its final votes on Thursday morning, when the fate of the Pain-Capable Unconstitutional Abortion Act is on the line. The measure passed the House by an overwhelming 97-2.
The bill would allow health care facilities – defined broadly, by the Justice Department as including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and doctors’ offices – to refuse to offer medical procedures on the basis of their religious belief.
The bill has been in a steady state of debate in the House. Republicans, who have a majority in the chamber, want to amend the bill to address an issue in the original legislation that the Justice Department has labeled “deficiencies.”
A coalition of religious groups, led by the Roman Catholic Church, supports the measure, and the Trump administration has argued that allowing faith-based groups to refuse services that violate their faith beliefs saves thousands of lives.
This is the third time in the new Congress that House Republicans have put a measure of such importance on the line; the first being the failure of their unsuccessful repeal effort in the previous Congress.
The Senate, by contrast, has yet to take up any major legislation of consequence, and its two most important votes – on tax reform and on a confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court – are weeks from completion.
But, as with the tax bill, the abortion issue – along with the rest of the government – could be set on the precipice of some potentially seismic developments on the heels of the Kavanaugh vote, if Democrats retake the upper chamber next month and