Catholic World News Service
Daily News Briefs
JULY 23, 1997
* SENATE CONTINUES BAN ON FUNDING OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEE ABORTIONS
* VATICAN PRAISES YELTSIN VETO OF RELIGION RESTRICTION BILL
* CLINTON ÇOMMENTS CAREFULLY ON VATICAN-NAZI GOLD ACCUSATIONS
* IRISH PEDOPHILE PRIEST APOLOGIZES
* BULGARIA WANTS HELP ENDING TALK OF INVOLVEMENT IN PAPAL ATTACK
* UNITED STATES CLARIFIES FOCUS OF RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION REPORT
* SRI LANKA TO LEGALIZE CERTAIN ABORTIONS
* CONGRESS BEGINS HEARINGS ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AMENDMENT
* ATHEIST FIGHTS OVERTIME PAY FOR CHRISTMAS WORK
* US MILITARY CHAPLAIN SCHOOL DEDICATED
* CATHOLIC CULTURAL CENTER PLANNED FOR WASHINGTON, DC
SENATE CONTINUES BAN ON FUNDING
OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEE ABORTIONS
WASHINGTON, DC (CWN) The US Senate voted on Tuesday to continue a ban on the use of federal employee health insurance to pay for most abortions as part of a $25.2 billion funding various government agencies.
The amendment, approved 54-45, would permit federal employee health plans to cover abortion only in the cases of rape, incest and threats to the life of the mother, said Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, who sponsored it. The ban has been in effect since 1984, except in 1994 and 1995. DeWine said that since the government pays a majority of the premiums, approval of abortion coverage would amount to a taxpayer subsidy of abortions for federal workers.
In other congressional action, the House Appropriations Committee rejected a spending bill amendment that would require minors to receive parental consent before receiving services under the federal family-planning program. Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Oklahoma, cited a case of a 37-year-old teacher who took an eighth-grader with whom he was having sexual relations to a health clinic for contraceptives. Opponents argued that requiring parental consent would make teen-agers stay away from the clinics.
The committee instead, in a 30-27 vote, approved an amendment by Rep. John Porter, R-Illinois, requiring family-planning clinics to encourage parental participation and provide advice on how to resist coercive sexual relations.
[other news items deleted for brevity ... JP]