WASHINGTON, D.C., December 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The second-ranking Democrat in the Senate says that “all Hell will break loose” if the GOP pushes for pro-life conscience and non-discrimination provisions in Capitol Hill's newest budget fight.
Roll Call reports that Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL, made the comments on Tuesday. “Just heard about it for the first time today, and if they try to do it, all hell will break loose,” said the Minority Whip. “You can imagine. The phrase 'Hobby Lobby' perks up the ears of many members of the Senate.”
“We have about 40 or 42 poison pill riders, but some are really big – Hobby Lobby, campaign finance reform – things that should have never even been on the appropriations,” said Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski, D-MD. “So we're kind of stuck at the riders stage.”
Durbin's office did not return a request for comment, but Roll Call cited a Democratic aide who said the “poison pills” include a pro-life conscience clause and a measure to prevent governments from discriminating against pro-life activists.
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It appears that the “non-discrimination” provision is a bill pro-life advocates sought to include in last year's budget bill, to no effect. The amendment would codify the Weldon Amendment, which is an annually approved provision that does not allow the federal funding of federal, state, or local governments that receive federal funding to discriminate against health care groups on the basis of providing, paying for, covering, or referring abortions.
A California law requiring insurance companies and churches to cover abortions has been accused of violating this law.
Another pro-life priority has been a conscience protection measure to prevent the District of Columbia's government from forcing pro-life groups to hire people who support abortion.