Prohibition on abortion services in Indian health programs (Vitter Amendment)

Senate Roll Call No. 30
110th Congress, 2nd Session

Agreed to: 52-42 (see complete tally)

The federal government funds a number of health programs for American Indians, which cover over two million persons.   During the 1970s, the federal Indian Health Service paid for abortion on demand in these programs.  The funding of abortions was stopped starting in the early 1980s, but this policy depended on annual renewal of a pro-life provision (the Hyde Amendment) to an annual appropriations bill.  On February 26, 2008, during consideration of a bill (S. 1200) to revise and reauthorize the laws governing the Indian health programs, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) offered an NRLC-backed amendment to permanently prohibit coverage of abortion within these programs (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest).   The Vitter Amendment was adopted, 52 to 42 (Senate roll call no. 30).  The amendment was supported by 43 Republicans and nine Democrats; it was opposed by three Republicans, 37 Democrats, and two independents.  [Six senators were absent and of these, three were considered supporters of the amendment, including Sen. John McCain (R-Az.), who was one of four cosponsors of the Vitter Amendment.]   Following adoption of the Vitter Amendment, S. 1200 was sent to the House of Representatives for further legislative action.

Vote Map: Senate Roll Call No. 30
Votes For : 52
Votes Against : 42
Not Voting : 6

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