National Right to Life members flooded fax machines and e-mail boxes with a clear and simple message, “defeat the $243 billion defense bill” — the bill contained a single clause relating to abortion. The House, torn between increasing Pentagon spendi ng or voting down an abortion provision, chose the latter, thus setting the stage for future abortion fights in the House.
Abortion rights face many threats on the U.S. House agenda: the House D.C. appropriations bill is expected to restrict abortion funding; the House version of the foreign aid bill denies grants to organizations which attempt to legalize abortion in dev eloping countries (the Senate bill allows the grants); the House has included provisions in the health and human services spending bill which prohibit federal funding of embryo experimentation, allow medical schools which don’t provide abortion training t o receive federal funds, and allow states to refuse Medicaid support for abortion. Many observers also expect that the full House will soon take up a bill to limit all abortions. This would be the first such attempt since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.