Thursday, August 2, 2007

U.S. Senate to vote on S-CHIP coverage of "unborn child"

From Alert from National Right to Life:

The U.S. Senate is likely to vote on Thursday, August 2, on an amendment to be offered by pro-life Senator Wayne Allard (R-Co.), to ensure coverage of the "unborn child" under a major federal-state health insurance program.

The Senate is considering legislation to reauthorize and expand the State Children's Health Insurance (SCHIP) program, which supplies funds to states to provide health services to children. Under a regulation issued by the Bush Administration in 2002, states are allowed to extend this coverage to unborn children -- this is referred to as "the SCHIP unborn child rule."

Eleven (11) states have taken advantage of this option. They are Arkansas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The bill before the Senate (called the "Baucus substitute") contains language saying that the bill neither confirms nor denies the validity of the unborn child rule. National Right to Life strongly supports the Allard Amendment, which would "codify" the unborn child rule. That is, the amendment would write into the law explicit language to clarify that a covered child “includes, at the option of a State, an unborn child.” The amendment further defines “unborn child” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”

To read NRLC's complete letter to the Senate in support of the Allard Amendment, click here.

To view or download the letter in PDF format, click here.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your two U.S. senators today and urge them to "support the Allard unborn child amendment to the SCHIP reauthorization bill." To see the appropriate phone numbers for your two U.S. senators, along with talking points and an instant-feedback form, please click here.