Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Silver Lining? Senate Rejects Anti-Abortion Amendment

The Senate on Tuesday rejected an effort by abortion opponents to tighten restrictions in the health care overhaul bill on taxpayer dollars for the procedure, but it was unlikely to be the last word on the divisive issue.

By a vote of 54-45, the Senate sidetracked an amendment by Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah that would ban any insurance plan getting taxpayer dollars from offering abortion coverage. The restrictions mirrored provisions in the House-passed health care bill.

The Senate bill currently allows insurance plans to cover abortions, but requires that they can only be paid for with private money. The legislation calls for insurance plans that would receive federal subsidies in a new insurance marketplace to strictly separate public funds from private dollars that would be used to pay for abortion.

"As our bill currently reads, no insurance plan in the new marketplace, whether private or public, would be allowed to use public funds for abortion," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The Senate vote -- hailed as a victory by abortion rights supporters -- could complicate prospects for President Barack Obama's health overhaul.

It's unclear whether Reid can pass his bill without the votes of Democratic abortion opponents. Seven Democrats supported the stiffer restrictions, while two Republicans -- Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe-- voted with the Democrats. In the House, anti-abortion Democrats have threatened to vote against any final bill that dilutes the restrictions already approved in their bill.

Abortion opponents say the restrictions simply extend current federal laws that prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. But abortion rights supporters said the restrictions would have the effect of denying women coverage for a legal medical procedure already covered by many insurance plans, even if they use their own money.

"This amendment would place an unprecedented restriction on a woman's right to use her own money to purchase insurance coverage that includes abortion," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

But Nelson called the separation of funds in the bill an accounting gimmick. "The reality is federal funds would help buy coverage that includes abortion," he said.

The vote came as Senate Democrats remained at odds on the issue of creating a new government insurance plan -- with time running out to pass Obama's health care remake by Christmas.

Read more at Foxnews.com.

Picture credit to Bluegrass Pundit.


blackandgoldfan said...

I watched a lot of the debate today on this amendment.

While I am pro-innocent-life (I support the death penalty), I believe that if a woman is hell-bent on getting an abortion, she should pay for it. Not the taxpayers, especially those who abhor the murder of innocents.

Here's the question that puzzles me. Whether paid for by the federal or state government, since when is a Medicaid recipient entitled to have someone else pay for an elective procedure? If that's the way it is, I may move out, quit my job, and go on Medicaid to get a boob job.

Donald Borsch Jr. said...

I've tried keeping up with it, but alas, I am as dense as the hardened Botox on Pelosi's face.

I basically agree with blackandgoldfan above. While I detest abortion and do believe it is blatant murder, if a woman wants one, let her pay for it. Not one penny of my tax money, or your tax money, should go to this act of death.

blackandgoldfan, I am 100% pro-Life and I do not support the death penalty. I see you list yourself as pro-innocent-Life. I've never heard it put quite like that before. Interesting.

blackandgoldfan said...

Don: In my opinion, being both anti-abortion and pro-death penalty put a value on human life.

In the case of abortion, by defending the rights of the unborn to live says that we value innocent life so much that we will defend that child's right to be born, grow, and thrive.

In the case of the death penalty, the message becomes "If you commit an act so heinous as to receive the death penalty, the price of the life you took will be your life."

I hope that clarifies my "pro-innocent life" stance. I will defend the rights of an innocent child in the womb, but if a person is a cold, calculated murderer, then I believe that the price to be paid is just.

Soloman said...

My belief system says that pro-death penalty is pro innocent life.

While I'm no proponent of abortion, I'm of the belief that to have it available in legal and sanitary ways is better than back-alley traders.

Regarding this health care disaster, this could be the undoing of the left, if all goes well. I'd gladly give them two votes, to get seven of theirs in return.