December 16th, 2009
05:16 PM ET
11 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. tonyt

    Don't Quit, That's What The GOP Wants! Keep Working At It. Change Doesn't Come Easy At Times ! Look At The Republican Party., Still Nearly 99.5 % White Americans After 140+ years!

    December 16, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Perhaps he should review Roe v. Wade while he's at it.

    December 16, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. jane

    Where do these so-called Democrats come from? As if those who are trying to enable more people to have adequate, affordable health care aren't already confronted with enough ruthless opposition from the insurance industry - and the Republicans they have in their pockets.
    Senators who will stoop to using such a divisive issue a abortion (which they probably care little or nothing about one way or the other) for their own selfish purposes are a long shot from being worthy to serve the public.

    December 16, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Scott

    What's in the compromise proposal? At least what's the aspect that seems encouraging to Sen. Nelson? Some substance please!

    December 16, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. No funds for abortion......

    or Nelson votes NO and Obamacare is dead.

    December 16, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. Rich K

    This is politics as its finest. This process, the delays, deal-making, iron triangles, artificial deadlines and agendas, pandering to interest groups, and the like have served us very very well for a couple hundred years. Let the system work. It's slow, it's jaded, it's perplexing but it beats the living heck out of any of the alterntatives that I'm aware of. From chaos comes order, and that's just the nature of things.

    December 16, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Bunksplace

    Abortion is the law of the land, but I'm personally against it as a means of birth control. I'm also against my tax dollars being spent on the ill-conceived wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, too, where Americans and innocent Iraqis and Afghans are dying everyday, not to mention the drain on our country's treasury. If abortion was outlawed how many politicians and American people would be willing to pay higher taxes to support expensive government programs to pay for the extra hundreds of thousands if not millions of single moms with non-aborted children needing financial aid for health, clothing, food, education, etc, etc. Therefore, if the pro-life movement got its wish and had abortion outlawed they better be prepared to financially support the moms and children in need because pro-life shouldn't end with bringing children into the world it's also about caring for those children through adulthood and not discarding them.

    December 16, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Since when do we allow a special interest group in Nebraska to hold the entire country hostage?

    I think Nelson needs to go. If he can't think without the special interest group telling him how, maybe he should just give it up.

    NEBRASKA – YOU CAN DO BETTER !!!!!

    December 16, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Dwayne

    Now let's let this white christian man control women's health. What god gave this white christian man all of this power?

    December 16, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. Bob (Illinois)

    I guess Senator Nelson is not allowed to think for himself. How about also sending the section in question to the pro-choice organizations?

    December 16, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. mjm

    "We have had plenty of time to read the bill. Stop the talking points."

    Completely wrong. No one has seen the Reid bill. He wasn't going to show it to anyone until it was scored by the CBO.

    You don't even have a clue what you are supporting. You just nod you're little liberal head "yes" to anything Obama says.

    December 16, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. katiec

    Nelson has tried every trick he can to destroy Health Care Reform.
    Now he is trying to shove his religious beliefs down the throat of
    every American.
    The bill that stands does not allow payment for abortion and he
    realizes that. He so enjoys his showboating, personal gains that he while grabbing all the attention is trying to tell women what they can
    and cannot do with their own private funds.
    We most certainly do not need politicians such as this.

    December 16, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. mjm

    Sen. Ben Nelson .......IS A DEMOCRAT. Not a republican.

    You libs can't even get it straight when it's right in front of you.

    December 16, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  14. Gerry NH

    We have not been debating health care for forty years. It becomes a issue when the politicians think that they may loose congressional seats.

    We have not had time to read the bill because the bill that will be vote on has not been released yet.

    December 16, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. m smith

    Most of the repos will go home and not even hear the bill. Just another wingnut ploy to stop what is best for the American peolpe. As for abortion. Why don't they let the women decide and but out. All these christian right wing ols men. Most of them don't mind screwing around then act like abortion is so bad. How many kids do they have hidden out?

    December 16, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. Bob Sessler

    It is a a terrable bill that cuts no healthcare costs!!! It only increases them...taxes us into oblivion.... increases the national debt and bankrupts the country!!! The country is broke and keeps printing money!!! It is fiscal insanity and creates more problems than it solves!!Start over and take small steps as we cannot afford the government we already have!!!

    December 16, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. mjm

    "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."

    They are not illegal. You can get them all you want. There are even free clinics. Knock yourself out.

    The MAJORITY of this country does not think the government should be paying for it....you're the fringe.

    December 16, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. annie against biased news

    NO tax dollars for murdering babies!! Even if Rahm 'dead fish' Emanuel threatens Mr. Nelson with closing the strategic base in SE Nebraska. If dead fish tries to do that he is putting jeopardy the safety of the USA.
    Some how that seems like emanuel is breaking a law.

    December 16, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Mike in Texas

    I say read the bill. I also say that every member of the Senate has to stay for the whole time to finish reading the amendment. Allow bathroom breaks and food breaks but that is it. If you leave you are disqualified from voting on the bill.

    Survival of the fittest!!

    Call their bluff!!

    December 16, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. terry,va

    Nelson will fold like the rest of the principle less Dem's. He has been threatened by Chicago thug Obummie who will close Nebraska's Air Force base if he don't play ball with him. If Nelson has a spine, he will tell Obummie to take a flying leap.

    December 16, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Mike in Texas

    Men have no say in abortion. Since they cannot get pregnant they should be allowed no say. Let the sitting women in the senate decide that issue.

    December 16, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. Debbie

    So now Nelson is the authority on abortion, heathcare, women's sexuality... etc.

    1) Without a public option nothing will stop the insurance companies as business as usual. This is a waste of time at this point.

    2) I thought this was a democracy where all citizens votes mattered. Obviously the only votes that matter are the insurance lobby in Lieberman's pocket and the new proposed American religion that Nelson is proposing we all must follow.

    3) Since my vote no longer counts I'm free to no longer participate as a citizen. We are no longer a democracy when two people control what happens to the rest.

    December 16, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. haren

    Just think of it if they won't allow any abortion than population of USA is going to be ..............one Billion with in no time.

    December 16, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Theresa

    Considering that the funds drafted by the checks I write for my monthly health insurance premiums are comingled with all other plan members, I can be assured that some portion of the funds are paid out for abortion services. Save the GOP's move, I've yet to observe a wholesale dumping of providers/plans that cover abortion services by those embracing an anti-abortion position. A curuious observation suggesting that many of my GOP brothers and sisters prefer to hang on to the policies they have rather than change providers and consequently endure a 180-day pre-existing condition period. So much for their commitment to their values.

    December 16, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. all the news that is fit to omit

    WE have not had time to REID........ the bill as it has all been done behind closed doors among only a FEW cowardly liberals have even seen the whole thing and just when there is a debate starting, they sneak behind closed doors again FACT.

    Your heroes want to pass anything even though your premiums are going up, fees are running through the bill for crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, sorry sheep again FACT.

    I hope you like paying for nothing as that is all you will be doing for 4-5 years and THEN the bill kicks in, NOTHING for something, typical dumb liberal think...........

    Please pass this, I will be with the 60 percent MAJORITY throwing your tails out in 2010 and uh, uh, uh, uh Barry in 2012.

    December 16, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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