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March 22, 2010; Wall Street Journal | Within the new health care reform legislation, the role of Community Health Centers is, as we have said before in the Newswire, due to be expanded as a national system of primary health care providers.

This is an enormous step for these community-based nonprofits that is expected to double their patient numbers. There is $11 billion dollars scheduled to be spent over five years to make this happen with $9.5 million of that for patient care.

Community Health Centers are prevented from performing abortions under the 1978 Hyde Amendment but pro-life advocates worried or said they were worried that this new money would not fall under that law full square. President Obama had to promise to sign an executive order that would “clarify but not change the original bill” in committing to applying the Hyde Amendment to these new funds among other measures.

This was, of course, only one way the issue surfaced during the long run up to this past weekend’s vote. From the article: “Abortion, one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics, often comes up in legislation only marginally related to the matter. ‘The fact that abortion continues to be so pervasive as a national issue in so many other contexts shouldn’t surprise us,’ said Tom Daschle, who repeatedly dealt with the matter during his tenure as Senate majority leader for the Democrats. ‘There’s a bloc of votes that are always going to be influenced by the interpretation of how abortion is treated.’”—Ruth McCambridge

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