December 3rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET
10 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. welches, oregon

    CNN: So if taxpayers shouldn't be required to pay for abortions thru an individual's federally funded insurance (public option), they why oh why please tell me why should taxpayers be required to pay for viagra or birth control thru an individual's federally funded insurance (public option)- seems like the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me.

    Good grief people – THINK!

    December 3, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Joe

    OK let me try again. A woman has the right over the control of her own body. THEN WHY DON'T THEY THINK BEFORE HAVING CASUAL SEX AND THEN HAVING A ABORTION TO GET RID OF THE CHILD??? You can have your abortion but I do not want my tax money paying for your lax morals and indiscretions. Buy your own insurance but not from the government and not in the Health Care Bill.

    December 3, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Abortion isn't always elective – and it's also law (see Roe v Wade).

    The argument that abortion shouldn't be paid for with tax dollars because some people are against abortion doesn't stand up to logic.

    There's plenty that our federal government has, does and will continue to pay for that I don't agree with (Halliburton cost overruns, the Bridge to Nowhere, and any number of projects that I personally don't agree with), and yet, as a citizen of the U.S., my federal tax dollars are put into the pool that pays for these things, and therefore, whether I like it or not, I am paying for these things.

    Besides, the arguments against abortion funding cited by the most vocal critics, including the Catholic Church, fly in the face of the First Amendment and its explicit separation of Church and State.

    December 3, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. Shawn-Ga

    Abortion is murder.. plain and simple. There is no one who can make any kind of argument that it is not.

    There is life and then there is no longer life, no way to possibly spin this.

    And for those who will thorw out the comparison to war... that is not even worth looking at it twice. People in the military are volenteers and the wars when they are for protecting the innocent are just. When war is for any other reason it it also murder.

    Tis is not hard at ll folks

    December 3, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Hey the term is CHOICE isn't it? Well if abortion is a choice, then it's NOT a required operation any more than cosmetic surgery. We should use taxpayer money for nose jobs OR abortions. If you want that choice, pay for it yourself. Better yet, exercise some responsibility with a CHOICE of safe sex, and then you won't need an abortion at all.

    December 3, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Susan

    I'm pro-choice and one thing I can never understand is.......how is it that when the Republicans are in the majoirty, there is never an effort to change abortion laws? It's only when Democrats are in the majority that the Republicans "use" abortion as an arguing point knowing it will divert the conversation to an emotional one. I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but vote independently.

    December 3, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. chris

    When government is allowed to make healthcare choices for the people...the people lose. Government is for the people not the other way around. We are already seeing preventative proceedures dwindling to cut the costs of goverment funded health care. A public option is not an option for the public it will be a way to fund government programs at the expense of our childrens life expectancy. It is time to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and get to work on being independent from government help. Americans need to join together and choose what is right, not what is right or left.

    December 3, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. Cindy

    I do not feel that tax payer money should go to fund abortions.
    No one is outlawing abortions. Tax payers just should not have to be obligated to pay for them.

    December 3, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    They could avoid the whole problem just by scrapping the entire bill–only 41% of voters are in favor of it and 53% are opposed. If Congress were honest and did what they were elected to do, this travesty would be dead already. But it looks like a lot of Democrats feel a greater obligation to their Party than they do to the people they, in theory, represent.

    December 3, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. gail

    The Hyde amendment which was passed in 1977 already prevents federal funds from being used for abortions. the funds are separated in the same way that funds for religious organizations are separated so that the separation of church and state are maintained. If our lawmakers can successfully separate the funds for these organizations, they can separate them in health care.
    The current Health care bill should not take away existing health-care services but should add to them.
    Women should be able to have availability to abortions, if they choose. If they do not want to do, they have the same right. This is a personal choice and does not belong in the political arena any more then whether it is right for a man to use Viagra.

    December 3, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. Greg, MN

    Health Care reform has become an unpopular subject as reality sets in to tax payers and the workers who will be effected. Theres no free lunch and the costs will come back to bite everyone in the tax paying class.

    My sister lives in Europe and pays 48% taxes for health care. If the question was would you give up half your paycheck to the government for health care would you do it?

    Instead the liberals are going to do it, and then comeback and say " Its (fill in the blank) fault, but we need a new tax to pay for it."

    December 3, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. welches, oregon

    Whoa just a minute here – it's ok to get viagra on an individual's federally funded insurance (public option) or birth control, but not abortions? That doesn't even make sense.

    December 3, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Unemployed In Iowa because of Obama

    Once again, the head Dem, Reid trying to make a smoke screen to get abortions paid for and also pay for illegals, what are you hiding Reid.

    December 3, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. annie against biased news

    I am totally against abortion (although if I had to listen to dirty harry very often I might change my mind) and do not want one penny of my tax dollars being used to murder babies.

    December 3, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  15. annie against biased news

    It is bad enough that they have agreed to cut medicare to murder the elderly but now this evil group of senators want to murder babies also.

    December 3, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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