December 16th, 2009
05:16 PM ET
3 months ago

Nelson reviewing new abortion language

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ben Nelson tells CNN he has received a compromise proposal on abortion restrictions that look "better than what's in the bill," but that he has to review it, and send it back to anti-abortion interest groups in his home state of Nebraska.

The compromise proposal was devised by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn, another anti-abortion Democrat who has been trying to help Democratic leaders and Nelson negotiate a compromise to win his support for health care.

A Democratic leadership aide would say only that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nelson and others have been "going back and forth" with ideas on how to find common ground on this vexing issue for several days.

Nelson - whose vote is likely crucial to pass the Democratic health care reform bill - has said he believes the abortion restrictions in the Senate bill are too weak, and has threatened to vote against the plan if it isn't changed. His amendment to adopt the strict prohibitions passed by the House was defeated.


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Health care
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. MatthewDetroit

    Funny how there is only ONE dem that actually thinks it is important to read the bill.

    Why you Dems in such a hurry.
    Why cant you read it first.
    I thought the transparency president said ALL bills would have 72 hours to be read after they are completed and presented.

    The Dems want a vote but they dont want anyone to read it.
    That is just garbage.
    It is a bad bill.

    December 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. gt

    the unborn need to thank sen nelson and casey... from the other butchers in the senate... how can they complain about people who die who dont have health insurance and then allow abortions not to effect them ,,,, unbelieveable....

    December 16, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Susan L.

    Oh, great. Like this bill wasn't already DOA with the vast majority of us. The tea party loonies because they hate anything that they think is left wing and those of us on the left because it's a pile of republican poo at this point with garbage thrown up by Republi-Dems like Nelson. I can no longer support this bill at all in it's present form. I'm writing to my Senators and asking them to withdraw their support for it. It's horrendous thanks to the likes of Lieberman and Nelson and Baucus. To think so many Democrats could be such total traitors to the base of the party. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    December 16, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Republican No Longer

    I'm against abortion. But every time I read some of the comments from some of my fellow republicans, I have to reconsider my beliefs on it.

    After reading todays comments from some fellow republicans, It becomes evident that abortion is a necessary evil to reduce the number of idiots that make the rest of us republicans look bad. I guess I'm all for late term abortions if they begin spewing the cowardly conspiracy theories, rather then facts, that some of these retards make a habit out of quoting.

    December 16, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Chris

    Long live Ben Nelson and Joe Liberman. God forbid you have the responsibility to represent the state that elected you and not the Socialist, I mean the DNC. May freedom reign, and Socialism die.

    December 16, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    It is a sign of the pathetic state of our political health when a fringe minority can attempt to deny the rest of society a choice to access a LEGAL medical procedure.

    Nelson, Lieberman, and the ENTIRE [R] congressional cabal need to have their political careers aborted.

    It is a testament to the LIBERAL nature of our constitution that rightwing dimwits are even allowed to partake in our political system.

    It is a testament to the broad nature of the [D] party that a few such dimwits are under its tent.

    It is a testament to the decaying state of our country that the dimwitted rightwing underbelly of this nation can completely dominate the [R] party, and it can still be viable politically.

    Our system of governance depends on the populace being informed, yet we have ~1/2 of the populace, and an entire political party, proudly identifying with purposeful ignorance and rightwing ideological delusion.

    If the state of this country has ever been closer to that of Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, I don't know when that would have been.

    December 16, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Michele

    You have to hand it to Republicans. They went after this bill in a myriad of ways, using many different people screaming about many different issues, real or imagined, and they have managed to give us a pile of s*** instead of any worthwhile health care reform. The funny part is, were it not so sad, the parts of the bill that would have contained costs and made insurance companies honest is what they were maddest about, and those parts are gone. So our rates will continue to rise; people will continue to be denied coverage, and more people will die. But by golly, the insurance giants are protected (gotta let them create those there jobs) and abortion will be all but banned....nice work, conservatives. And you have the nerve to call Obama fascist? You are intent on overturning a Supreme Court decision without ever entering a courtroom (hey, it got Bush elected) and are screaming about your stupid constitutional right to bear arms. What about MY right to live by the laws of the land? You guys and gals are turning this country into a theocracy all by yourselves. amazing...maybe there DOES need to be a revolution...by progressives. We need to take our country back from these nuts.

    December 16, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. gp

    Is abortion illegal?

    The repubs will use any wedge available to divide and conquer.

    The dems would be well served to learn how to exploit our differences to their benefit. And the beauty of it all is the dems are bringing all this on themselves.

    We won't get health care reform because the dems can't walk in lockstep with their party members.

    What a gross, political mismanagement by the dems.

    While I agree with the dem platform, as a party they are pathetically incompetent. The tent is just too big. Repubs have few defining rules, but they are rules that can not be broken under any circumstances.

    December 16, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. richard

    one senator that is holding up the whole process who feels that he has the sole right to tell a woman how to choose. he ought to be castrated.

    December 16, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I'm not for abortion but I think it is so hypocritical for those who are against abortion have no problem denying many the right to healthcare that could save lives. A life is precious at any age or costs.

    December 16, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. tarheel

    I loved the way that everyone is on pins and needles about Ben Nelson and how he is going to vote. He is going to vote for the Health Care Reform bill. This is all an act to fool the people from his state into believing he really held out. All these blue dogs will in the end show their true color which is yellow.

    December 16, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Rumself

    Men, abortions, laws preventing abortions. As soon as men are FORCED to be fathers, then I will support a no abortion approach. From what I see in this world, women have babies and either raise them or abandon them and live with the consequences. I still see far too many men's faces on posters as deadbeat dads...good luck ever forcing a man to be a father.

    December 16, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Vets4Obama

    Some people say that we are trying to RUSH this legislation through. After FORTY years of debating health care reform, and getting no where, these little retards think we are RUSHING.

    Those same mental midgets are the same morons that need the bill to be read TO them, since they themselves are too incompetent to read it themselves.

    Republicans: The surest sign that the intelligence level in america is on the decline. Bad in math AND reading.

    ps: Just wanted to give a shout out to Matt in Detroit. Hey hey man, hope you don't think FORTY FRICKEN years is rushing. That would make you an embarrassment to your family. Last time I checked, FORTY YEARS in discussion is a pretty long time, yea man, it really is, wipe that astonished look off your face.

    December 16, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. Lynn

    What if everybody who vehemently opposed abortion, sign up to adopt a baby that would have otherwise been born to a welfare life. Let's see how fast they would sign up, or not.

    December 16, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. Rickster

    Well Senator Nelson, here's your choices:

    1) Vote for this boondoggle bill and then polish up your resume cause you're gonna need it or
    2) Vote against the bill and celebrate your re-election.

    December 16, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Stay out of my uterus, as, I stay out of your "stuff."

    December 16, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. guy from NM

    Another one, like Lieberman, that should be kicked out of office

    December 16, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Donald

    Who says the they haven't read the bill. I have read most of it (as it was last week), but the republicans keep trying to amend it so that it is constantrly changing. They just want to kill the bill. It isn't that difficult to read if the republicans would just leave it alone instead of trying to dismantle it. It needs to be passed. The GOP can only see the dollar signs from the insurance company lobbyists, but health care reform doesn't pass soon (with some sort of public option) we will all be seeing the dollar signs as the insurance companies continue to pick our pockets, and costs will only continue to sky-rocket out of control. Put the public option back in the bill and pass it. I know there are ways to do this without Lieberman, who has been so obviously been bought out.

    December 16, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Ron Geskey

    Given: 1) The majority of Americans are against the health care bill, 2) the majority of Americans are opposed to even higher deficits, 3) the majority of Americans are opposed to higher health care costs, 4) the majority of Americans are opposed to higher taxes, 5) the majority of Americans are opposed to lower quality health care, 6) the majority of Americans are concerned about an exodus of doctors, 7) senior citizens are extremely concerned about the reduced care they will receive, 8) the majority of Americans don't like liars, and 9) much more....

    Then: Why do our elected representatives so cavalierly ignore the peoples' opinions, wants and desires?

    It can't be because they want to keep their jobs.

    December 16, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  20. Gary

    I don't want to fight over the legality of abortion I just don't want my tax dollars to pay directly or indirectly for it. That seems like a very fair compromise. Private people can get private abortions with private money, keep the government out of it. In fact, frankly I'd keep the government out of healthcare as much as possible. There are definitely people who are in need, but most people (90% of people) who are on medicare, medicaid, welfare, food stamps, public housing etc etc could be and should be working. It is time to stop taxing the hard working folks to give free stuff to lazy folks.

    December 16, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. Art

    Abortion terminates the lives of unborn children. I don't want my tax dollars to subsidize health insurance policies that include abortion services.

    My understanding is that this is how Medicaid and the health insurance system for federal employees currently works - as per the Hyde Amendment.

    If people want to have abortions, they should pay for them out of their own pocket.

    I don't want a system where my tax dollars subsidize up to 99.9% of a policy, and the recipient has to pay only one dollar more a month to have abortion services included.

    December 16, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Albo58

    Unfortunately, when it comes time to vote, the Dimwits will vote party line against the will of their constituency for a piece of garbage bill! And all the things that were 'taken out" of the bill in Senate will be put back in for the final vote. These thieves are blatantly dishonest and should all be tried for treason!

    December 16, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. joe mett

    Bob Nelson, Joe Lieberman and co. clearly shows that the Senate has become an esoteric country club whose members have nothing in common with the everyday lives of the average Joe in the USA. Their positions on issues tend to be dictated by extraneous concerns such as which industry is contributing the most to their senate campaign funds and personal ideological preferences.

    Senator Nelson's concern on abortion is already taken care of by the fact that federal funds cannot be used on abortions but yet still Bob Nelson wants to make an issue out of funding for abortion.

    Joe Lieberman was more concerned about how many so-called liberals were supporting the Medicare-buy-in program and therefore he had to get publicity by opposing it despite the fact he supported it barely three months ago. It is time for voters to throw these 'same old politicians' out of office.

    December 16, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. Ron Geskey

    Abortion is a smoke screen. Senator Nelson is just looking for a reason to join the little puppy dogs following along behind such morons as Harry Reid and the socialist democrats.

    Senator Nelson, distinguish yourself in the senate by being a man of intelligence and integrity. Spending tax payer money on abortion doesn't come close to squandering trillions and selling the country to the Chinese.

    December 16, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Robin

    The bill clearly says in cases of rape, incest, and threat to mother's life, you would be covered. What more do you want?

    Abortions are legal, and available to you, should you want one, HOWEVER, it should be the exception and not the rule. I'm pretty sure that using a vacuum to suck out a fetus and then scraping your uterus clean of any remains can't be too good for you. Why would you want to have more then one?

    There are many great contraceptives out there that are 99.9% effective. Plus, the average abortion is $500. The average cost of the pill for a whole year is $240 ($20/monthly).

    It's cheaper to avoid the unwanted pregnancy all together.

    December 16, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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