Antiabortion forces won another round as a Senate appropriations subcommittee approved a money bell and left untouched House language forbidding use of federal employes health insurance to perform abortions.
For years, the House has been writing language into health and defense appropriation bills forbidding use of federal money to perform abortions on poor women or those in the military. This year it voted to extend the prohibition to insurance covering 10 million active or retired federal employes. About 20,000 of them obtained abortions last year paid for by these policies.
Traditionally, the Senate has resisted House efforts to attach antiabortion riders to money bills, but its zest for the battle has weakened with the departure of former senator Edward Brooke (R-Mass.). There is no assurance the Senate will reject any of the House provisions.
"The Senate subcommittee also accepted three House legislative riders aimed at preserving tax-exempt status for private schools that have no minority group students as it sent on to the full Appropriations Committee a money bill for the Treasury, Postal Service and several other agencies.
Two other legislative provisions added by the House were stricken from the bill by the Senate subcommittee headed by Sen. Lawton Chiles (D.-Fla.). One would forbid counting aliens in the United States for purposes of reapportioning the House on the basis of the 1980 census. The other would forgive income taxes for U.S. hostages in Iran during the period of their captivity. A separate bill providing more comprehensive benefits for the hostages is moving through Congress.