Senate Votes Against Reinstating Global Gag Rule

At 12:40pm EST today the U.S. Senate voted 60-37 against the Martinez (R-FL) amendment (PDF) to the SCHIP bill that proposed to reinstate the global gag rule.  While Senate Republicans must have known they did not have the votes to pass such an amendment, it is clear that Obama’s dropping the family planning provision from the economic stimulus package didn’t win him a pass from Republicans’ anti-choice shenanigans.

Advocates I spoke with were surprised by the introduction of the bill. 

The results of the roll call vote Senator by Senator can by found here.

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  • z3ncat

    I’m hoping all of this – the proposed amendment, the dropped provision – is part of a testing of the waters that stems from the vast change in administrations we’ve just seen.  Hopefully (I really am such an optimist, aren’t I?) the conservatives will see that they no longer have the support and strength to continue their assault on women’s rights, while at the same time our new administration will see that while bipartisanship is a truly worthwhile goal, they don’t have to cave on important issues to maintain it.  And then we as a country and as a government can settle down and start reversing the damage that’s been done over the last several years.

    • invalid-0

      yes i agree with you z3ncat … but hopefully obama will do the best for us … thanks

      this blog is very informative ..keep up your good work

      thanks and regards

  • jodi-jacobson

    That hope was dashed with the charade over the Medicaid section of the stimulus bill this week and the failure of the White House to even make a statement in support of family planning as strategy that is good for prevening unintended pregnancies and avoiding the resulting abortions not to mention that avoiding unintended pregnancies provides substantial economic benefits to families and to society writ large.

    The White House fell flat on its face on this one: Gave up the ship not only without a statement acknowledging the above, but also dumped the provision unceremoniously and got not a single Republican vote out of doing so….not that that would have made it ok.

    And even in dropping it, doing so without any statement of acknowledgement allows the far right to do what they always seek to do….stigmatize contraception.  This is something to remember next time you hear about "common ground."

    We are unfortunately still in a struggle for politicians to take these issues seriously, speaking as someone who spent extensive personal time and money helping get this President elected.



  • invalid-0

    Isn’t that “loading up a bill with pet projects”?
    …..It’s difficult for our macho culture to understand how paying for poor women’s contraception is an economic stimulus, I know. It’s just too “womany” or something for many people to understand that avoiding unintended pregnancy has seriously positive impacts on the quality of life of poor women and the children they may already have AND has a positive impact on the entire economy.
    …..In other words, reproductive freedom is more of an economic issue, a survival issue, than it is a social issue. Women’s determination to control when and how often they become mothers is hard-wired. It’s always been this way for thousands of years.
    …..But I’ve noticed that both pro- and anti-choice folks have succumbed to the conservative argument that funding contraception for poor women is merely “pork” or a “special project.”
    …..I’d love to understand why the gag rule wasn’t seen as a pet project when it was added to SCHIP.

  • invalid-0

    The most important thing about this story is: Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa), the most prominent “pro-life” Democrat in politics, voted pro-choice–against the amendment.

    This confirms that unlike his father he is pretty much a right-to-lifer in name only. He’s just RTL enough to avoid getting into a fight with the Catholic Church which has an historical alliance with his family. The Catholic priests don’t want to fight with the Caseys either, especially when he looked likely to win with or without them, so they let him get away with calling himself “pro-life” even though everyone knew that replacing Rick man-on-dog Santorum with Bob Casey Jr. would be a hard hit against the rtl lobby and the overlapping anti-birth-control lobby too.

    The other day he declined an opportunity to state that he would support a filibuster against FOCA. He said he opposed the legislation but he did not say he would oppose it in every possible way. When the questioner mentioned the filibuster he interrupted him to say he didn’t want to get into hypotheticals within hypotheticals. Contrast: what do you think Man-on-Dog would have said, if he hadn’t been thrown out on his cute little bedouviator?

    And don’t worry about the family-planning thing–there’s lots of channels Obama can use to get money to the family planning programs besides the Stimulus. He wants the Republicans on board for this–he wants it to be as near-unanimous as possible. He won’t need them for stuff like health-care. Family planning is a long-term thing, there’s no compelling reason to put it in a stimulus package. It’ll end up somewhere better for us, where it won’t need to be renewed as often as stuff in the stimulus will.

    • invalid-0

      …..Thanks, Egli Ha, for your insight on Casey. I’m from PA, so I’m always interested in what motivates our pols. Particularly, since I’m not Catholic or Christian, and I don’t follow any “revealed” kind of religion, understanding the dynamics between Catholic priests and Catholic pols is pretty interesting. That’s important, especially because many Pennsylvanians are Catholics. Having said that, I’m not advocating that we favor any particular religion.

      …..I’m not insensitive to anti-choice arguments. I wish there were no need for abortion. I just cannot call anti-choice folks “pro-life,” not to disrespect them, but I believe women’s decisions can and often do promote the life of themselves and their families. Sometimes that means to continue a pregnancy, and sometimes not.

      …..Wouldn’t it be great if we had a culture that gave both men and women the knowledge of their own bodies, confidence to make best decisions about sexuality, and a healthy economy that supported us?

  • invalid-0

    Elgi, I agree that President Obama will indeed not forget about his biggest base…all pro choice women,including myself, who he could not have gotten elected without. I know that in order to get things moving on the economy, that he has to throw the Republican dogs some bones, but he is smarter and more clever than they are, and he knows how extremely important it is for women to get those much needed contraceptives. It might take a little while, but we will get what we need for the least economically stable among us, who need contraception the most. However, lets take note of the Republicans who fought against this being added to the bill, and really fight hard to get rid of them in the next elections. They are not merely anti-choice, they are pro-births, and we will not tolerate the fact that they play politics with women’s bodies, or that they ignore the overwhelming mandate that President Obama has to do something about the need to prevent abortions for poor women, the easiest way that there is…. with birth control! It is the one thing that both sides SHOULD be able to agree on, if the anti-choice people weren’t so blinded by ignorance, and their belief that women alone should have to pay consequences for enjoying sex!!