December 3rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET
9 months ago

Senate delays action on abortion measure

Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, scrapped plans late Thursday to turn the Senate's attention to an amendment that would ban federal funds from being used for abortions after the author told Reid he was not yet finished crafting it.

The decision to delay action on the controversial amendment from Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, came after Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who is co-sponsoring the amendment, complained that Reid was rushing debate on it.

"He (Nelson) is being pushed very hard by his side to bring it up before it's ready to be brought up," Hatch said. "To do really good legislation around here, you need to make sure people who agree with you are on board and the outside groups feel good about it. There's a lot of work I need to do and he needs to do."

Nelson said he did not feel rushed by Reid and blamed the delay on the complexities of writing the highly technical abortion language.

A Reid aide said the majority leader has not decided which amendments will be debated next on the Senate floor in place of the Nelson amendment.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, said Reid told him his amendment to permit the re-importation of prescription drugs, as a way to drive down the cost of medicines, could be considered as early as Friday or sometime this weekend.

Reid said Thursday he is planning to hold floor votes over the weekend.


Filed under: Abortion • Health care • Senate
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Zac, Atlanta

    More weekend work? I can hear the Republicans groaning.

    December 3, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. The Dems are melting down.......

    they will never agree on abortion or the public option....might as well scrap the whole bill now.......stop wasting our time and money and get to work on the economy.....

    December 3, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. j

    I'm against anything that limits women's access to abortions or any other medical procedure. It's her choice and her right to make her own informed decision. The government should stay out of it.

    I'm against any bill or amendment that limits a woman's right to choose.

    I'm against any bill or amendment that's anti-progressive.

    The leaders of this country are too parochial and conservative measures that limit people's rights and freedoms are not in the best interest of the country.

    December 3, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Working on weekends? The congressional republicans don't even work during the week.

    December 3, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Albo58

    No to Public Option and No to funding the choice of abortions!

    December 3, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    A lot of old men making a decision of a lot women. A woman should have right chose

    December 3, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Chanel

    Once again, I am a pro-choice person (and for the public option) who does not believe that tax payers should be required to pay for abortions. That is something elective and should be treated like any other elective procedure and NOT covered by health insurance... ESPECIALLY government run insurance.

    December 3, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. JDD

    The biggest error ever introduced into our national understanding of healthcare is that abortion is healthcare – and this error wasn't introduced by accident.

    The thoughtful person can research the history of Margaret Sanger – her actual statements and writings, that is. Whitewashed versions can also be found of course, but the fearless researcher will go to her own words to form their opinion.

    Abortion is the only example in modern medicine where a completely normal human biological process (pregnancy) is prevented from reaching its natural conclusion (the birth of a new human person.) It is also the only case in medicine where the body of a woman is caused to misfunction (the most common forms of birth control are actually overdoses of hormones which trigger a woman's period) and this is called a step up for womens' dignity.

    December 3, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. mjm

    I am pro-life.......unless you're a lib. Then I would gladly use my tax dollars for any abortion you want.

    December 3, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Tom L

    The only thing that should be aborted is this bill.

    December 3, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Micki

    This is a back door way of reversing Roe v Wade and for the religious fundamentalists who are trying to take over the government of this country would love to see. This "health care reform" bill is a joke and, as much as I would love to see GOOD health care reform, what is being proposed does not qualify and would probably best be defeated. I'm sorry it hasn't worked out but nothing is better than what is being proposed.

    December 3, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Black Viper

    Do you really think any that abortion will be outlawed in this country?
    You Pro-Life Hypocrites are pathetic.
    You want government out of your personal life but you want the same government to infringe on the liberty of women.
    I do not support abortion and strongly believe late term abortion should be ban completely but you cannot deny the liberty of women to choose what they want to do with their body or their embryos.
    What did that make me? Pro-choice or Pro-life

    December 3, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. A. Smith, Oregon

    The Christian wing-nuts and their Republican puppets are desperately trying to bypass the US Supreme Courts decision on women's rights to have an abortion

    Women across America should stand up and tell those Christian lap-dogs, 'HELL NO' to their pathetic attempts to bypass the law and force all Hospitals and Physicians Groups that accept public funding, to not be able to have abortion procedures.

    December 3, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. TriciaNC

    Working nights and weekends? This from this lazy group of people?

    It shows how fast Reid wants to ram this travesty down America's throat and how much he wants to hide in there.

    Kill the Bill.

    December 3, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "As a Christian, I strongly disagree with government taking money from me to participate in killing babies"

    But you'll gladly give it to a private insurer who does the same? Check your policy provided by your employer, hypocrite.

    The CHOICE whether to have an abortion is a Constitutional RIGHT (suck it up fundies). Uphold it. Period. Otherwise, I guarantee you that time and resources will be wasted forcing it back into the bill with a case that goes to the SCOTUS, which will have no choice but to consider the absence of coverage for abortions in a public option to be a violation of equal protection. Class = women (pregnant ones at that). Standard = strict scrutiny. Have. A. Nice. Day. Religiots.

    December 3, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. TriciaNC

    This is a job killing, tax increasing, freedom taking bill. It will ration care, hurt businesses, force us into Govt. run care by enticing employers to pay the small fine rather than the higher cost of healthcare, force insurance companies out of business, increase premiums, and take away choice.

    It has nothing to do with healthcare, it has to do with control and takeover over our economy and our individual and family decisions.

    Stop it Congress, while we still have an America left. You are killing everything we have fought for.

    December 3, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. John D.

    The Dems are working over time to screw the hardworking people of the country to give more entitlements to the windbags who write in here. Go Republicans! Keep making know that what they are doing is unconstitutional.

    December 3, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Gerry NH

    I could care less how many abortion a woman has but not on taxpayers funding. Pay for your own abortion unless it will harm the woman or child.

    December 3, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. disgusted

    Isn't this something that would come between a patient and her doctor? I thought this was a big no-no.

    December 3, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. Moderate

    I'm in favor of not increasing our population and putting an even further strain on our natural resources. Not to mention... now only wealthy, intelligent people will be able to afford abortions, and not the people who really shouldn't be having kids in the first place.

    December 3, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  21. Jim, Georgia

    I'm a conservative, and do not agree with abortion. With that said, I am not someone who can judge others, or tell them what to do. I can, however, request that my taxpayer money not be used to fund an elective procedure, which this is. They chose to play, now they both should be responsible. If they want the abortion, they can pay for it. It does not limit their access, just doesn't provide taxpayer money to do it.

    December 3, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. js -----santee

    a bunch of conservative old white guys deciding what women need again. Let freedom ring.

    December 3, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. Voter

    I can't believe the Senate is considering a ban on abortion. I already contacted my senator and house of representatives person to let them know I am against any amendment that bans abortion coverage.

    And for the republicans who oppose abortion converage: hypocrites! The RNC offered abortion coverage until someone brought it to their attention. I have republican friends who oppose abortion, yet did not think twice when having one themselves!

    December 3, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Joe

    For all who support abortion, that is fine A woman has the right to choose.

    December 3, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Joe

    I agree with all who want to support a womans right to abortion but why do you not

    December 3, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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