Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Senate defeats Nelson No Fed Funding Abortion

Senate Defeats Nelson Amendment to Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care Bill
by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 8, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The Senate on Tuesday voted 54-45 to defeat the Nelson amendment that would have removed the massive abortion funding from the Senate government-run health care bill. With the defeat, pro-life advocates will unite behind a concerted effort to defeat the entire health care bill.

The legislation currently allows abortion funding under both the public option and the affordability credits to purchase health care insurance.

The bill contains a slightly-reworded version of the much-maligned Capps amendment, which a House committee approved on a partisan vote and which pro-life groups say is an accounting scheme to hide government-funded abortions.

The Nelson amendment, sponsored by Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, Democrat Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah, would have restored the Hyde amendment principles to the bill to ensure that abortions can't be funded.

Contrary to the claims of abortion advocates during the debate, women would still be able to pay for abortions with their own money and purchase health care insurance to cover their abortions.

Nelson was unable to get enough Democrats to join him in supporting the amendment while two Republicans, pro-abortion Maine Sens. Olympia Snow and Susan Collins, sided with abortion advocates against the amendment.

Sen. Barbara Boxer moved to table (kill) the Nelson amendment and she was joined by most Democrats and opposed by most Republicans.

Democrats who voted no and opposed Boxer's motion to kill the Nelson amendment included Sens. Casey, David Pryor of Arkansas, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Edward Kaufman of Delaware and Evan Bayh of Indiana.

With the Nelson amendment defeated, attention now turns to the vote on the bill itself, and Nelson (but not Casey) has said he would filibuster the bill because of the abortion funding it contains...

...Other issues apart from direct abortion funding are causing pro-life advocates to oppose the health care legislation.

The Senate has also added the Mikulski amendment to the bill that could open the door to forcing every health insurance plan in the country to cover abortions.


Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009 12:15 PM
Why The Senate's Abortion Debate Does Not Matter
Sarah Kliff
The Senate is now debating one of health-care reform's most controversial provisions: Ben Nelson’s abortion amendment. The language of Nelson's amendment, introduced yesterday, mirrors the strong restrictions of the Stupak amendment and bars plans traded on the government exchange from covering elective abortions. Barbara Boxer, the first Senator to speak in opposition to Nelson’s amendment, was quick to term it “the biggest rollback to a woman’s right to choose in decades.” Meanwhile, Nelson has repeatedly threatened to filibuster any bill without his language. Groups that both oppose and support abortion rights have encouraged members to write letters to their senators on the issue, imploring them to vote one way or another.

But no matter how many letters are written or emotional speeches given, this abortion debate does not actually matter


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