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Hatch undeterred by anti-abortion defeat

Published: Thursday, Oct. 1 2009 1:24 a.m. MDT

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch is flanked by fellow Finance Committee members Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe.

Evan Vucci, Associated Press

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Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says he will "fight tooth and nail" to include anti-abortion funding language into the health care reform bill.

But other Senate Finance Committee members say the language simply is not needed because other places in federal law prohibit taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions.

Hatch's efforts to insert language in the controversial health care reform bill died 13-10 in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday.

The committee is working through hundreds of proposed amendments to a Senate version of the health care bill; earlier this week twice voting down President Barack Obama's desire to have a public option to private health insurance.

For years Congress has, in budget bills, prohibited federal money for abortions. But Hatch said his amendment was needed to "ensure" that restriction in the health care reform bill because the bill combines statute and funding all in one measure.

Hatch further complained that his amendment would restate language that health care providers, like doctors and hospitals with moral objections to abortion, from being forced by state and local governments to provide the procedure.

Again, some committee members said that provision is found in other federal law.

"Although these two very important amendments fell short today, you can rest assured that I will continue to fight for these vital issues," Hatch said in a statement.

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