Anti Abortion Measure Added to Spending Bill

Update: It's a done deal . While education and environmental programs take a hit:

[The bill would increase education by less than 2 percent and environmental programs by 2.5 percent over last year, while nearly halving Bush's foreign aid request for countries that embrace democratic change. Such figures made the package a vivid illustration of how the politics of surging deficits has crimped domestic programs.]

... The Defense and Homeland Security departments received 7.4 percent boosts in earlier bills, not counting the tens of billions the Pentagon got for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They are flexing their muscle already. Conservative House Republicans today tacked on an anti-abortion provision to the spending bill.

The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.

Sen. Barbara Boxer says she won't back down:

"I am willing to stand on my feet and slow this thing down," Ms. Boxer said. "Everyone wants to go home, I know that, and I know I will not win a popularity contest in the Senate. But they should not be doing this. On a huge spending bill they're writing law, and they're taking away rights from women."

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