November 16th, 2009
03:44 PM ET
12 years ago

Religious abortion rights backers push to change health care bill

Washington (CNN) - The problematic intersection of health care and abortion politics was highlighted again Monday as religious abortion rights supporters demanded changes to reform legislation recently passed by the House of Representatives.

Members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice held a news conference calling on the Senate to alter language in the House bill that places explicit restrictions on federal funding for abortion.

"We call on the Senate to ensure that the health care reform is freed of religious doctrine and restrictions that would prevent women from making their own reproductive health care choices," said the Rev. Carlton Veazey, the head of the coalition.

"We are ... very disappointed, but we are not defeated," declared Jon O'Brien, head of the group Catholics for Choice, which is part of the coalition. "We believe that health care reform is not about covering some parts of some people, but all parts of everybody."

The coalition is an umbrella organization composed of representatives of a variety of progressive Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and other groups.

Religious leaders have been split over the issue of abortion coverage. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops pushed successfully to amend the House bill to prohibit abortion coverage in a government-run health insurance plan, as well as in private plans that accept anyone using government subsidies to buy insurance coverage.

Current law restricts federal funding for abortions to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Under the House bill, people would be permitted to buy supplemental coverage for abortions with their own money. Abortion rights groups have called the idea discriminatory and preposterous, arguing that women rarely plan ahead for an abortion.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. mario mtl ca

    Church must be oust from politics they are already a joke

    November 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Amen! Finally the rational mainstream faith community speaks!

    November 16, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Kelly

    Where is your seperation of church and state. Keep the religious loonies out of politics, it is insane enough without religion clouding things even further.

    November 16, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Obama/Biden = One and Done, please God....

    The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of abortions are done for the sake of "convenience" and as a method of birth control. As if that is not bad enough, the "I'll do anything I want and someone else can pay for it" crowd now wants these birth control abortions funded by the federal tax payer. NO! NO! NO! There can be no legitimate justification for it, and I am tired of the pro-abortionists claiming otherwise.

    When will we see a return to the era of personal responsibility?

    November 16, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Mattison

    So, its only rational because its something you agree with eh? What part of that belief structure (only believing people are sane because they are in agreement with your beliefs) seems to be in any way "rational?"

    November 16, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |