December 8th, 2009
10:24 AM ET
8 months ago

Abortion once again roils health care debate

Washington (CNN) - The Senate prepared to vote Tuesday on an amendment to tighten restrictions on federal funding for abortion in the sweeping health care bill it is considering.

No matter the outcome of the vote, it will impact the chances of the health care bill eventually winning approval from Congress.

The amendment filed Monday by moderate Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah would mirror language from the health care bill passed by the House last month that prevents any health plan receiving federal subsidies from offering coverage for abortion.

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Filed under: Abortion • Health care • Senate
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Joe in DE

    The Heath Care Bill shoud not contain any abortion language – abortion is a seperate issue.

    December 8, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. John

    Hmmmm, so let me see, the Republican Senators who sponsored this amendment believe that the government, not a doctor and his/her patient should decide if a medical procedure is necessary. Wait a second, I thought they were opposed to that???? Oh, I forgot. They are opposed to government interference except when they want to be the ones doing the interfering. Hypocrites.

    December 8, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. John

    Correction, my post should have just read "Senators", since there was one of each. The rest of my opinion stands, they are hypocrites.

    December 8, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    All these ConservaDems are in for a rude awakening next year for watering down this bill. Bye Bye Nelson, Lincoln & Landrieu. We gave you the opportunity to support a strong robust public option and this is what you turn around and do.

    December 8, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Dean

    The Republicans always whine about Big Goverment controlling healthcare and how BAD it is, yet when it comes to abortion they are the ones who want Big Goverment to control what a woman does. Rather Ironic

    December 8, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Enough

    I am pro choice, but I do not think abortion belongs in the health care bill. Nobody is saying you can't get one, it's just NOT a covered expense and should be treated like elective surgery.......paid for out of your own pocket. The only exception should be rape, incest or medically necessary. There is way too much focus on the right to have an abortion, when the focus should be placed on preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place. With all the birth control options available, there is NO excuse for the amount of abortions performed. Abortion should not be used as birth control.

    December 8, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "women receiving coverage under a federally subsidized health care plan would be barred from purchasing abortion coverage with their own money."

    Who will be on the "public option" and receiving federal subsidies to purchase health insurance? What will their demographic most likely be? Where will they most likely live? What will their income level/economic status most likely be? Race? Starting to get the picture? Wondering what effect this will have on those people? I bet if you've followed this train of thought, the only thing you're not wondering is why certain people would want to build this kind of disparate impact into the bill. That's right: keep them in "their place." It's disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves...but we already know they have no shame.

    December 8, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. P Adams Jr

    How can abortion be covered by any insurance? Not only is it wrong to kill small Amricans, but just using common sense tells us that the pregnancy is a pre-existing condition rendering abortion to be uncoverable by insurance companies.

    December 8, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Ron

    The health care bill shoul not include any language that promotes or bans any medical procedure. That choice should be made by a patient and his/her doctor, not by legislation.

    December 8, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Randolph Carter

    Because the complex healthcare debate all boils down to a hot button issue guaranteed to fire up the God-fearing, uneducated republican base against any sort of progress. Way to turn it around, neoclowns. Have a nice day!

    December 8, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Ted from Calif.

    This is supposed to be about healthcare, not abortion. The right-wing christian wingnuts are trying to force their theology down the throats of everyone else. The founding fathers sought to limit this behavior by creating the separation of church and state.

    December 8, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Independent Lilarose, Bandon, Oregon

    It is such a shock that abortion is legal in the United States, but women can't use FEDERAL funds to have an abortion.

    It is also a shock that there are so many men in Congress who have decided we women should not have abortions.

    We risk our lives each time we bear a child, and men don't have to worry about a thing with their own health.

    If you notice, there are often more men in anti-abortion rallies than there are women. These guys can't STAND the thought that a woman doesn't want his kid.

    December 8, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. white female

    People this has got to stop (repubs and concervs) stop the maddnesssssss, Mr. Reid was so RIGHT about you'll inclucding the Cable fv commentor haters for this Admin. You'll just want to try and stop this President, you never say a kind word about the work that he has already done in the last past 10-11 months, but he has done a great job, and you 'll will be surprise when the time comes to vote for him in 2012, and when he keeps going along to fix this mess we have been left to clean up behind you fools for the last 8yrs and ever since I can remember, being 60yrs old this has got to stop we look like such fools to other country, when we finally get our head out the sand and have learn how to move on and treat everyone like a human being that has been made through and by God that see NO COLOR.
    Wake up, people the time has come to move forward.
    2009-2016 President Obama/Biden-Good luck USA, we can do this.

    December 8, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. bill

    To all Obama's SHEEP, Joe Wilson was right.

    The sad thing is Obama Lies and you people believe him on everthing he tells you.

    December 8, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. bill

    I really believe this... for those against abortion come forward and financially support welfare and all the unwanted babies. I do not want to do it anymore. The cost of sending one very low income kid thru grade 12 in Los Angeles is $93,000. And there are millions of these kids whose parents are not contributing to the system. YOU PAY FOR THEM!

    December 8, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Linda

    I can't even believe we're still having this debate as a nation! Abortion is a part of a woman's healthcare, whether certain factions approve or not. And what is with these Misogynist Dems? If they get their way, the end result will be that poor women (who need abortion services the most) will be forced into bearing children for whom they are ill equipped to care while wealthy women will just pay cash for an abortion. Joycelyn Elders said it best during Clinton's administration: "Get over your love affair with the fetus". The health and rights of women already born and living should always trump the suppossed rights of a fetus!

    December 8, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. gary

    They need to remember this isn't an abortion bill.

    December 8, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. harvey

    US Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) has introduced legislation to ensure law-abiding gun owners are able to securely transport firearms on Amtrak trains. "Our nation's airlines allow gun owners to check guns in their luggage. Our federally-subsidized rail line should be no different."
    The US Supreme Court in 1973 made abortion legal in the US. Why can't these people shut up and stop taking away Americans rights under the Constitution.

    December 8, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. Where are the new jobs?

    This Democrat will NOT support any bill or vote for any Democratic politician who allows tax payer dollars to be used for abortion.

    December 8, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    What is it about Roe v Wade these people don't get? Abortion is legal in our country.

    And we all pay taxes for things we don't necessarily support. For example:

    – I don't support paying to send our troops into combat without the proper body armor

    – I don't support funneling money into Halliburton

    – I don't support funding a Bridge to Nowhere

    And yet, as a citizen of this country, my taxes go to all sorts of things.

    And to the people who object to abortion on religious grounds, read the First Amendment – we are NOT a theocracy! And besides, no one is forcing anyone to have an abortion.

    December 8, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Beth

    I can guarantee you that if this bill passes with any abortion language that restricts abortion coverage, I and all women in this country will fight it, fight it, fight it until the language is removed. This will definitely energize the pro choice movement again. Women of this era will not put up with this nonsense!!!

    December 8, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Disgusted

    Senators only care about you before you're born. Once you're actually a citizen they'll quite happily send you off to die in their pointless wars, deny you health care etc. The health care debate should not be used to undermine abortion rights.

    December 8, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Matt

    The fact that the healthcare overhaul will screw up the economy should be the real reason to kill the bill. It is unsustainable–see MA's healthcare mess.

    December 8, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. larry

    to call Ben Nelson a moderate is a fantasy. Nelson is a republican in the democratic party

    December 8, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. kalene

    I think it is rather sad that in order for any of us to get the health care we deserve, we have to appease some close minded men in their religious conquest to protect that which can't breathe on its own and burden women who don't want to add another child into the adoption industry. If only they put this much energy into helping every born American instead of the potential, unborn one... Priorities people.

    December 8, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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