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A women’s group says the recent [2009] Senate vote against an amendment to the SCHIP program will lead to more abortions.

The Senate rejected an amendment to make as national law a rule the Bush administration put in place allowing states to cover unborn children in the SCHIP program.

During the Bush administration, President Bush displayed his concern for both mother and unborn child by putting the rule in place.

Pro-life advocates had strongly supported the Bush policy, first implemented in 2002, because it promoted respect for human life and pregnant women without classifying pregnant women as children under the program.

The rule allowed states to interpret the word “child” to include those between conception and birth, and 14 states have adapted their programs to include pregnant women and their unborn children under this option.

Sen. Orrin Hatch sponsored the amendment to codify the Unborn Child Rule and the Senate rejected his motion on a 59 to 39 vote.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, told she’s upset that the Senate defeated the proposal.

“This action suggests that 59 senators are more committed to the demands of the abortion industry than to caring for the health of pregnant women and their unborn children,” she said.

Dannenfelser also said the vote will lead to more abortions and shows that President Barack Obama isn’t as fully committed to reducing abortions as he claims.

“President Obama has said that he wants to reduce the number of abortions, but this misguided vote is likely to lead to more abortions. We are disappointed that President Obama failed to use his influence to persuade the Senate majority to preserve a policy that has affirmed pregnant women and their unborn children,” she said.

Some of the 14 states that have implemented the Unborn Child Rule include Obama’s home state of Illinois along with Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

The Senate vote on the amendment came down to the ideological divide on abortion in the chamber with pro-life lawmakers supporting it and pro-abortion senators opposing it.

Most Senate Republicans backed the Hatch amendment except a handful of abortion advocates while all Senate Democrats opposed the Hatch amendment, except Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Interestingly, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who supported the Unborn Child Rule before and whose state implemented it in their state version of the SCHIP program, voted against the Hatch amendment to make it federal law.

The vote came one day after lawmakers rejected an amendment to restore the Mexico City Policy, which President Barack Obama reversed to make taxpayers fund groups that perform or promote abortions in other countries.

[29Jan09, Ertelt,, DC,]