December 3rd, 2009
03:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Cafferty: How should Senate address abortion in regard to health care reform?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Join the conversation on Jack's blog."]
Abortion is the political hot potato that could derail health care reform entirely.

It caused major disagreements in the House – and the Senate is now wrestling with how to address the issue. Democrat Ben Nelson says he will introduce an anti-abortion amendment... and that he won't vote for the health care bill unless this language gets added.

Nelson and others aren't satisfied with Majority Leader Harry Reid's current plan – that is to forbid including abortion coverage as a required medical benefit – but to allow a new government insurance plan to cover abortions and let private insurers that get federal money offer plans that include coverage for abortion.

In the House – a group of anti-abortion Democrats added restrictions that would forbid any health plan that gets federal money from paying for abortions – except in the case of rape, incest or to save the mother's life. Also under the House bill, a new government insurance plan couldn't offer abortions – and women would have to buy separate coverage for abortion services.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. LR

    exactly the same way they address Viagra and similar meds.

    December 3, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Scott, Tucson

    Simple, the democrats can relent and say they won't have an abortion amendment in the bill and once it passes, slip it in under the nose of the American people for obama to sign into law.

    December 3, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. U.S. Common Sense

    Considering there are already rules on the books against spending federal funds on abortions, they would have to pass legislation to overturn the existing rules before making it a provision in the health care reform package.

    However, outside of federal employees, the government should not be paying for any abortions with the exceptions of rape, incest, and the threat to the mothers' life. Any 'elective' procedures should be required to be paid for by the person requesting it. Maybe it will teach them to not engage in activities that might result in pregnancy. A little personal responsibility can go a long way.

    December 3, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Oleg

    Neither pro-life nor pro-choice politicians can justify murdering thousands of born and unborn children that perish every year because they lack insurance and do not get prenatal or preventive care. Make your case on what the bill's language should be, but then vote "yes" on whatever is decided. Abortions are inexpensive compared to giving birth or daycare, so I am sure women who want one will find a way to make do without government coverage.

    December 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. mjm

    They need to abort the entire bill.

    December 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Loren

    These religious zealots would rather millions of people sicken and die due to no access to affordable healthcare than that Federal dollars might help some poor woman somewhere abort a rapist's child. Yeah. That's "pro-life" in America.

    Let's pay some attention to the millions and millions of people already born.

    December 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Not at all Jack. Your opinions about abortion are your own business. Fact is, it's a legal procedure based on privacy rights supported by the supreme court. If you want to change that fine, do it through proper channels and legislation. I (though I'm a man) personally would never submit to someone's opinion about what I can and cannot do with my body and would never try to tell a woman what she can do with hers. It's a disgusting intrusion into private lives that is unacceptable.

    Kevin in Denver

    December 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Susan

    The republicans (and some democrats) are using abortion as a means of squashing healthcare reform. Shameful! This is a topic that should be set aside for discussion at a later date. These people just don't get it ... people are literally dying and will continue to die (needlessly) because of their dirty tricks.

    December 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. HUGO

    I would have to believe that most thinking Americans believe the right to choice is a personal matter, whether you are for it or against it. The whole issue with government involvement is absurd, there should be no tax dollars paying for abortions for the public. If a woman wishes to terminate a pregnancy within the allowable limit of term, go pay for it and live with the consequences of the action. If it costs them their hard earned dollars then maybe they won't use it as a means of birth control!

    December 3, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Left is Right

    We should not let religion (mythology) become involved in legislation.

    Keep your beliefs to youselves and stop trying to force them on to others!

    December 3, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Sean

    Abortion (no matter how distasteful) IS legal. Unless the purpose of Health Care Reform is to start determining what legal medical procedures can and cannot be performed and reimbursed, I'd recommend not dragging abortion politics into it. Naturally, the Republicans will....

    December 3, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Tracy

    They government could improve my health by kicking Harry out of office. I get physically ill every time I have to look at his ugly mug.

    December 3, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Mike

    how about they abort this bill?

    December 3, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Brad

    I have an idea!

    How about the government not dictate what people can do with their own bodies? I'd say abortion falls under the 'not any of the governments business' category.

    December 3, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. a little sad

    Maybe they should talk about how Palin paid for her abortion? (See her book, read the definition of abortion.)

    December 3, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. marcia

    Someone should have aborted most of the Senate!

    December 3, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    Since federal funds do not pay for abortion, I think abortion should not even be addressed in the health care bill. I also think that is it about time the public puts it foot down on these religious organizations that are trying to tell congress what to do. If they want a voice in congress and in writing bills, they should give up ALL, EVER SINGLE BIT OF THEIR TAX FREE STATUS and then see if they can tell congress what to do.

    December 3, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Liz

    The so-called pro 'life' folks have no problem with our tax dollars going to kill thousands of real people in wars. Their hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me. Abortion is a legal health care procedure and should be covered just like any other. No one gets to pick and choose what their tax dollars go for. If they could, there wouldn't have been much money for the Iraq vendetta.

    December 3, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    Medical isues should and must be decided based on solid science and not politics or religion. having said that, didn't God Almighty give every human being the right to do whatever they want with their bodies? I mean, as a human being, I have a right to worship God, which I do because of my beliefs, but others have a right to not workship God as well, if they so choose. This right of chice is a supreme will given to all of us. Thou shall not kill, but we kill everyday be it abortion, war, murders, state-sanctioned murders, famine, lack of food or medicine, etc. Sin is sin but let's not equate sin with crime!

    December 3, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Peter s

    Instead of talking and arguing about abortions how about talking with our children about responsible behaviors!. I have a daughter and I always try to give teach her moral compass!!

    December 3, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Chipster

    Abortion is a medical procedure that is legal and should be handled the same as any other legal procedure. To do otherwise is discrimination based on gender. Insurance companies have balked in the past about covering birth control pills, yet they were anxious to hand out Viagra like candy!

    Outrageous! If men could get pregnant, this wouldn't even be asked! No one should be forced to have an abortion or denied the right to make that decision with their doctor. Follow whatever religious doctrines you want but don't force them on others.

    December 3, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Tina

    As a Christian, I strongly disagree with government taking money from me to participate in killing babies - This is not about money or special health benefits - the core of it all is KILLING BABIES - KILLING PEOPLE. Leftists clamour for justice, but where is justice to unborn babies - THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO -

    December 3, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    No one can be in favor of abortion but it is a decision to be made only by those who will be most in need of one – and that does NOT include some United Staes Senators or Representatives unless of course there really is such a thing as "GIRLY-MEN"

    December 3, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |