Senate Defeats Bartlett Amendment


Senate Defeats Bartlett Amendment


(Special to The Wanderer)
April 17, 1975

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Shortly before The Wanderer went to press (April 10th) we received the report that, after several hours of debate, the U.S. Senate had just voted 54 to 36 to table the Bartlett Amendment to S. 66. (For text and discussion, see The Wanderer, April 3rd, 1975, p. 4).

Earlier, the U.S. Catholic Conference, on April 7th, had advised members of the U.S. Senate that the Conference had decided to support the Bartlett Amendment.

The decision was announced in a letter circulated among the senatorial offices by Mr. James L. Robinson, head of the USCC Office of Government Liaison. The text of the letter follows.

“Dear Senator:

This is to advise you that the United States Catholic Conference supports Senator Bartlett’s proposed amendment No. 307 to Senate Bill 66, prohibiting the use of Federal funds for elective abortions, and we urge you to vote in favor of this amendment.

This amendment is consistent with the policy of the Congress to protect the lives of unborn children by restricting the use of Federal funds for abortion. A recent study indicated that at least 900,000 unborn children were destroyed by abortion in 1974, and the study also indicated that that number can be significantly increased if public policies and hospital regulations will take a more favorable stance toward permissive abortion. The Amendment will not prohibit all abortions, but it will prohibit the use of public funds for the expansion of permissive abortion services.”

The letter was signed by the above-mentioned Mr. Robinson and had the approval of Bishop James Rausch, General Secretary of the USCC.

In a related action, Msgr. James T. McHugh, secretary to the Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Affairs Committee, indicated that the USCC would probably support also an amendment to cut off Federal funds for abortion-related research (see The Wanderer, April 10th, 1975, p. 4).

An analysis of the debate and the vote as well as commentary on its effect on the pro-life campaign will appear in next week’s Wanderer.

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