CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Nov 30, 1977
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(Studio) Report on continued congress debate with regard to abortion funds; Representative Tip O'Neill's charges against Senator on issue, and House defeat of compromise bill sent from Senator noted.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(DC) Background of abortion debate reported, include Supreme Court rulings, Hyde amendment in House and Senator attempts to liberalize present law. [Representative Henry HYDE - would like to see constitutional amendment against abortion, but can't get it out of committee , so House will try to stop abortions where it can.] Congress lobbying efforts by anti-abortion groups like National Committee for Human Life Amendment, which is funded by contributions from Catholic bishops, detailed; number of Catholics on Senator and House conference committee working with issue cited. Human Life Amendment lobbyist Mark Gallagher mentioned. Question of Catholic influence in issue and separation of church and state, brought out by pro-abortionists, stated. [Planned parenthood spokesperson Alfred MORAN - cites 1st Amendment provision with regard to separation of church and state.] [National Conf. of Catholic Bishops spokesperson Monsignor James McHUGH - notes efforts against abortion by other, more political, groups, and says church not trying to deprive poor women of something others can get.] Lobbying of National Right-To-Life group noted. - Senator Edward Brooke's statement that Defense Department pays for more abortions than does Department of Health, Education and Welfare cited. [BROOKE - says if measure put in HEW appropriations, it pertains primarily to poor, who don't have own strong lobbying orgs., but if restrictions put into defense appropriations bill, then bill would be in jeopardy.] Anti-abortion stands of Department of Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Califano and President Carter and recent report of task force on abortion alternatives noted. Contd. congress debate and possibility of no compromise, meaning strict bill of last year would remain in effect, outlined.
REPORTER: Susan Spencer