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Democrats to resolve abortion impasse on the House floor

Updated 1:29 a.m.
By Lori Montgomery
House Democratic leaders agreed Friday night to settle an impasse over abortion by letting the entire House vote on a proposed solution, a risky decision that could determine the fate of their trillion-dollar overhaul of the nation's health care system.

Under the agreement, anti-abortion Democrats will be permitted to offer an amendment on the House floor to the health-care overhaul bill. The amendment would prohibit a new government-run insurance plan created by the health-care bill from offering to cover abortion services, congressional sources said. It would also block people who received federal subsidies for the purchase of health insurance from buying policies that offered coverage for abortions.

The deal clears the way for the dozens of Democratic lawmakers who oppose abortion to lend their support to the health care package, the most dramatic expansion of health coverage in more than 40 years. It also satisfies the demands of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had threatened to oppose the House bill.

If the amendment from Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) passes, said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops conference, "we become enthusiastic advocates for moving forward with health care reform."

The amendment is expected to pass with the combined support of more than 40 anti-abortion Democrats and virtually every House Republican. That likelihood meant that leaders of the much larger group of Democrats who support abortion rights were not happy to learn of the deal.

"There will be no abortion, not just with public funds, but with private funds under the public option, and that's not acceptable," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.).

House leaders met with that bloc of Democrats late Friday to try to quell their frustration., but the agreement makes clear that they believe abortion-rights Democrats will find it difficult to vote against the health-care bill even with such a restriction attached to it.

"This is a small facet of the bill that's very important to a lot of people," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), adding that the greater goal is to pass legislation that makes health care "affordable and accessible to all Americans."

Abortion-rights Democrats said Friday that they were willing to accept only limited revisions to the health-care package.

Upon learning of Friday night's deal, the Planned Parenthood Federation of American quickly fired off a statement from president Cecile Richards opposing the amendment. Such a measure, Richards said, would effectively force private insurers to drop coverage of abortion in order to offer their policies through the new insurance exchanges.

"The fact is, the majority of private health insurance plans currently offer abortion coverage," Richards said, adding that the Stupak amendment "upends the carefully crafted compromise in the House bill and unambiguously restricts women's access to care."

Stiffening the backbone of those who oppose abortion was the bishops' conference, which circulated a letter late Friday arguing that without such an explicit prohibition in the bill, the legislation could otherwise force individuals who oppose abortion to indirectly subsidize the procedure with their tax dollars.

The disagreement, and Saturday's proposed resolution, sets the stage for a messy fight in the middle of the day's debate over President Obama's top domestic initiative. And House leaders must still address a separate dispute within the House Democratic caucus over immigration policy.

Hispanic lawmakers said they had received assurances from House leaders that the health bill would not be changed to bar undocumented workers from purchasing insurance through newly created insurance marketplaces. Language promoted by the White House and adopted by the Senate Finance Committee would establish such a barrier.

Hispanic lawmakers said they remained concerned, however, that Republicans would attempt a parliamentary maneuver to add the provision to the bill -- and that the maneuver would attract enough votes from conservative Democrats to win approval. Republican aides declined Friday to say whether they were planning such a move.

House leaders were working late Friday to secure assurances from about 20 Hispanic Democrats that they would vote for the health-care package regardless. Hispanic lawmakers, for their part, were seeking Pelosi's commitment to try to prevent Democratic defections.

The health-care bill would spend more than $1 trillion over the next decade to expand coverage to 36 million additional Americans by expanding Medicaid and creating a new insurance marketplace where people could shop for a variety of policies, including a government-run insurance option. Low- and moderate-income people would be eligible for federal subsidies to help them cover the cost of premiums, and to reduce their co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses.

As written, the bill would permit those insurance plans to provide abortion services so long as the procedure was paid for with private premium dollars, rather than any government subsidies, a position supported by Democrats who support abortion rights.

Anti-abortion lawmakers, led by Stupak, demanded more ironclad commitments that public funding would not be used for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. That standard has been applied to federal programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, for more than 30 years.

To try to bridge the divide, Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) proposed that private insurance plans be required to clearly segregate public and private funds. The Ellsworth proposal also would require the hiring of a private contractor to handle funds for abortion services.

Stupak and other abortion opponents were not satisfied. Doerflinger of the bishops conference called the Ellsworth plan well-intentioned but "an accounting gimmick."

"The Catholic bishops are a very important group, to especially a lot of the Catholic members and people from districts with large Catholic populations," House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) noted Friday. "The problem is that we have a very fragile situation. You give somebody a vote one way and we lose people on the other side."

Negotiations between the two camps consumed much of the day Friday, as representatives from the warring factions shuttled into and out of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office just off the Capitol Rotunda. A deal was finally struck shortly before 9:30 p.m., sending Stupak to the House Rules Committee to request official permission to offer his amendment -- permission that was finally granted shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday.

After the deal was struck, annoyed pro-choice leaders filed out of Pelosi's office to confer with their supporters.

By Lori Montgomery  |  November 7, 2009; 1:07 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

It is disingenous and inconsistent for House members to accept the argument that they should avoid a situation where taxpayers who oppose abortion might be placed in a situation where their tax dollars help pay for abortions. Many millions of us oppose war in general and/or oppose specific wars. We are not affored the opportunity or 'right' to demand that our tax dollars not be spent on war. On principle, House members should avoid this argument, unless they are also willing to allow everyone to only have their tax dollars used for things they support.

Posted by: cookhud | November 7, 2009 2:10 AM | Report abuse

This really does remind me of that old saying, "Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made." (Otto von Bismarck).

It's an ugly mess needing to compromise with so many groups, but in the end, the Democrats will find a way to ensure that the poor have access to abortions. I sympathize with Planned Parenthood, but they know what it takes to make sausage as well as anyone else, and ultimately, some fudge will be accommodated in the final, reconciled bill, in order to keep private insurers from dropping abortion as a covered procedure altogether (I thought the "accounting trick" was a decent compromise, but the Bishops are inserting their religion into law-making, yet again, sadly).

Posted by: kirkaiya | November 7, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, I don't care what the Catholic bishops want and they certainly should not be dictating what medical care 300 million people get. Okay, men don't get abortions but they do get vasectomies, fertility treatment, and other care the church doesn't like. Abortion IS legal and it should be covered by insurance, public or private.

Posted by: Paula_G | November 7, 2009 2:15 AM | Report abuse

The Hyde amendment allows for abortion in the case of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger. The Catholic bishops would allow this??? If so then they're being hypocrits. The whole premise of "life" is that it "begins at conception". If life begins at conception then life begins at rape. The "exception" crowd is playing politics. If right-to-life is based on religious beliefs, then there should be no political "out".

Posted by: TruthHurts2 | November 7, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

The Tax Paying Citizens of this Country should NOT have their money spent on Abortions. The Federal Government should not be in the business of terminating life. Especially when the money for that funding comes from the pockets of the citizens.

So you all your Pro-Lifers, you lost.

Pro-Life 1 / Pro-Choice 0

Aside from that, this whole health care bill needs to go down in defeat. The United States Government is about to take over the health care industry. It won't be long until that power is leveraged to make you conform to the Government's will.. For example, if you don't drive the right type of vehicle, your insurance premiums might be higher. If you choose to smoke, you might not be covered. If you choose to sky dive for fun, your coverage will be dropped.

You foolish liberals are about to hand the Government the power to dictate your life.

Posted by: AlbyVA | November 7, 2009 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Thats "So you all your Pro-Choicers, you lost".

lol Lost in the passion are my typing skills.

Posted by: AlbyVA | November 7, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

This article is full of weasel-words, typical of most reporting on abortion today. Note that one side is labeled seven times in a generally positive manner: “pro-choice” people who “support abortion rights”, “abortion services”, or “abortion coverage”, while the other side is labeled seven times in a generally negative manner: “anti-abortion” people who “oppose abortion”. This shaping of the debate has gone on for years – these are probably the “approved” usages in The Washington Post’s style guide.

This careful manipulation of language is calculated to shore up support for abortion, subtly denigrate those who take a moral stance in support of the fetus, and ensure that only one side of this debate is considered legitimate. The Post would never consider referring to abortion supporters as “fetal-rights opponents” or “anti-human-dignity activists”, and why not? Because use of those weasel-words would constitute an attempt to unobjectively skew the debate.

Why not compromise - refer to both sides by their chosen references: “pro-choice” and “pro-life”? Both terms better encapsulate the issue, are accepted by the side so described, and render the language of the debate more neutral – one side favors individual privacy rights over other considerations, one side favors the human dignity of the fetus over other considerations.

The shift in terminology would strip reporting of some of its editorializing, and allow the facts to be more candidly submitted to the reader.

Posted by: Matthew16 | November 7, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

God, why do goody-two-shoes always want to FORCE YOU TO OBEY THEM. . . . . . . Let the woman choose for herself, and the goody-goodies can pray for her.

"In the last days, the religious ones will force the non-believers to where their brand, and those who don't will be denied health care."

Posted by: Here2day | November 7, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Banning federal funding of abortion is a small price to pay to reform health insurance in America. I don't know why the religious in America have such a thing about abortion. They care more about unborn humanity than born humanity. Once babies are out and about they can live without health insurance, live in appalling conditions, go to violent public schools, grow up and get killed fighting in some senseless religious-inspired war. There does seem to be a Christians versus Muslims aspect to U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The simpletons who put Michelle Bachmann and Virginia Foxx in Congress view war to be a kind of cosmic football game, in which ethnocentrism is the ball. It's our ball. And we'll take it home when we're good and ready.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 7, 2009 3:43 AM | Report abuse

Why aren't the good bishops objecting at the use of tax dollars for unjust wars, and for capital punishment? These are just as bad as abortion, by their own principles.

Posted by: herzliebster | November 7, 2009 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Mixing sausage analogies and abortion = distasteful, so to speak.

Aaaanyway, if you haven't had a look at I O USA you really ought to. It is an interesting look at where our national debt has been and is now.

http://www.iousathemovie.com

Posted by: gconrads | November 7, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

herzliebster, the "good" bishops do object to war:
"“With the Holy See and bishops from the Middle East and around the world, we fear that resort to war, under present circumstances and in light of current public information, would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for overriding the strong presumption against the use of military force.” USCCB 11/2002
http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/peace/back503.shtml
and capital punishment:
"Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty" USCCB website
http://www.usccb.org/deathpenalty/
It's not that they're not preaching it, it's just that you, like many others, (including some Catholics) aren't listening.

Posted by: clifc | November 7, 2009 4:19 AM | Report abuse

TruthHurts2 said:
"The Hyde amendment allows for abortion in the case of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger. The Catholic bishops would allow this??? If so then they're being hypocrits. The whole premise of "life" is that it "begins at conception". If life begins at conception then life begins at rape. The "exception" crowd is playing politics. If right-to-life is based on religious beliefs, then there should be no political "out"."

You're saying that if Congress prevents you from saving one, you shouldn't save another. What kind of logic is that.

You bet the Bishops are playing politics. It's a bit like coaxing a gunman to give up hostages. You save lives one life at a time.

Posted by: clifc | November 7, 2009 4:44 AM | Report abuse

Fascinating. The audacity to march through the halls of the House to protest the threat to 'FREEDOM' the health care legislation will be while simultaneously demanding the only threat to real freedom be inserted into the bill.

If anyone thinks the influence of the Religious Right and fundamentalist Catholicism is waning, you'd best think again. This isn't dumb luck that allowed them to stumble into this maneuver. The poor blue dogs are being threatened with the loss of but loads of money from the health care lobbyists and being excommunicated.

If you think this is just about government funds paying for abortions you are thinking way too small. All of these kinds of maneuvers are a very clever way of putting in little tentacles and very soon having the power to strangle Roe vs Wade.

What this will actually accomplish is to insure that someone who desperately needs health care because they can't afford it will have to bring another child into the world that they can't support while those with money can discretely hide their little mistakes.

Posted by: dogdiva | November 7, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

While Democrats fiddle, thousands are dying for lack of healthcare access. What’s “Pro-Life” about that?

It’s mighty un-Christian-like for any public servant to masquerade as a right-to-life-proponent, while orchestrating or participating in an attempt to delay or deny health care access to those 44,000 Americans dying each year. Certainly, every God-fearing human being knows in his/her heart just how God-awfully hateful this is! Enough is enough! REFORM HEALTHCARE NOW!

Posted by: taus007 | November 7, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

So much for John F. Kennedy's philosophy of representing the people, not the pope!

The vote on the amendment will at least smoke out the Democrats who take marching orders from the Vatican instead of their constituents.

Posted by: uh_huhh | November 7, 2009 5:55 AM | Report abuse

it's as simple as this: abortion as birth control is wrong, no matter how you look at it. our society is denigrating at an alarming rate; even the progressives that hail their acheivments as "reform" will not recognize this country in the next five years if we do not reign in these radical ideals. can't you see you were used? you call traditional Americans obstructionist, but you will be in the same boat w/ those traditionalists when it's all over. SURELY YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THAT.

Posted by: daleray | November 7, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

taus007 wrote:

"While Democrats fiddle, thousands are dying for lack of healthcare access. "

-------------

Stop being overly dramatic. Nobody is dying from lack of health care in this country while this bill works its way through Congress. Anyone needing urgent care can receive care at an emergency room. Is this ideal care? Often not. Is it cost-efficient? Definitely not. But people can get care. The problem is that they lack insurance. Why is it that the left continually confuses "care" and "insurance." One is what the doctor gives you; the other is how you pay for it.

In the grand scheme of things, I'll venture that in the last three months, more insured people in this country have died from malpractice than uninsured have died from lack of insurance. I'll venture, too, that the flu (the regular, non-scary seasonal variety) killed more people in this country last year than the lack of insurance did.

And given that Obama and the rest of the Democrats have already said plainly that there will be rationing of care under any bill that they pass, if there are any people dying today from lack of access to care or from lack of insurance, they will be dying tomorrow, too, because the government may refuse the procedures that they need as too risky, too expensive, and not worth the potential return.

The reality is that most of the uninsured in this country are uninsured because they choose to be. Some are young and feel that they can live a few years without costly insurance; some are wealthy and can afford medical bills without insurance. The portion who don't have insurance and want it is only a fraction of the total, and, as we see in the current wrangling in the House bill, many of them are in the U.S. illegally.

How Pelosi and company think they will push through a bill that covers abortion and guarantees access to illegal immigrants is beyond me, but there they are, working out the details of both just as they are about to bring the bill to a floor vote.

Posted by: blert | November 7, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Where is the transparency in government as we where promised, Why is the house bill not post 72 hours before a vote? Why are the American People not being allowed to review the Bill? What else is attached? Congressman and Senators should wear jackets like NASCAR drivers, so we know who is sponsoring them; they obviously don’t listen to the people. This is not “CHANGE”, this is more of the same.
Adding 1.5 trillion dollars to our national dept for health care reform does nothing to improve the well being of the majority; it creates another problem to a system that is broke both financially and functionally. Instead of getting it right the first time, we will have to wait for amendments too the bill, this must have been taught in a college I didn’t got too, the philosophy of getting it right the first time.
Illegal immigrants are a drain on the economy, they lowered the income of the blue color worker, they caused the decline in the housing market, by assisting in building to many houses so that banks could finance to anyone including illegals. By law they are illegal, treat them as such, we have a process to follow to become a citizen, why is it being ignored?
Anti-Abortion, Pro-Abortion will this fight never end, I forgot it’s a Religious war, they never end.

Posted by: PBJester | November 7, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

I am pro-choice but I do not believe that I, or anyone else, should be made to PAY for a CHOICE mad by someone else!

Other than in the obvious circumstance of rape or serious health problems, no one should have need of an abortion is she takes reasonable precautions to prevent a pregnancy and/or insists her partner do so. If she fails to take adequate measures and becomes pregnant, why should I have to pay for the consequences of HER irresponsible behavior?

It is akin the problem of smoking or sky-diving under a socialistic system: should those who engage in unhealthy and risky behavior be made to pay more for their irresponsible choice?

I do not question a woman's right to choose but with the power to choose, one must also take responsibility for the consequences of that decision, in this case paying for it HERSELF instead of on the PUBLIC DIME!!

I don't have a problem with subsiding abortion (in so far as we are subsiding anything) in case of health issues or rape but I can not support this bill until the issues of who should pay for irresponsible behavior is addressed.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | November 7, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

PELOSI: Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail
JCT Confirms Failure to Comply with Democrats’ Mandate Can Lead to 5 Years in Jail
=======================================

Guess you democrats will be going to jail.

This is fun watching you eat your young.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 7, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

These stinking Democratic radicals are trampling on our rights and on our Constitution. Now they want us to pay for murdering babies in the womb and think we have no choice but to allow it, Think again you stupid fools..Many of us are not going to let you steam roll over us....you are now going to get the fight of your miserable Conressional lives and if violence ensues -its YOUR fault for not listening to hard working Americans who are sick to death of seeing you ruin our country.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | November 7, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Abortion is still too much a hot button subject to try to push into the healthcare bill... a separate privately run fund to pay for needy patients could easily be setup to offset the loss on the bill... this lib understands the rightwing on this issue.... they cannot support in any way what they consider wanton murder of a child.... that will not be changed, no matter what logic is thrown at them.... and I respect that...

Posted by: seakeys | November 7, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle, it took more than the momma. how about the daddy who knocked her up pays?

Posted by: clifc | November 7, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse

After the deal was struck, annoyed pro-choice leaders filed out of Pelosi's office to confer with their supporters.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LoL, looks like the planned parenthood/abortion crowd got kicked to the curb in favor of passing this mess. I wonder how things are going to fare for the illegal immigration wing of the Democratic Party?

Posted by: moebius22 | November 7, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

RE: "So much for John F. Kennedy's philosophy of representing the people, not the pope!"

People are allowed to lobby and vote however they choose. The BISHOPS CONFERENCE represents a constituency of voters just as NARAL and PLANNED PARENTHOOD represent another. I fail to see why one group (pro-choice) should be allowed to advocate and lobby but it is considered proper for another group (anti-choice) to remain silent. That's anti-democratic.

Except for certain constitutional restraints, we live in a "majority rules" country. The competition among ideas is ugly business at times but the only alternative is to suppress it entirely. It doesn't matter where ideas originate. All that matters is whether they violate the constitution and people vote for them.

Posted by: Matthew_DC | November 7, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

seakeys, it has nothing to do with "rightwing". (those commie bishops who are ready to get behind this healthcare bill and push as soon as abortion is out of the way are anything but rightwing).

Posted by: clifc | November 7, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

So America is taking it's orders from Catholic Bishops and Evangelical Protestants? Feh.

Posted by: egc52556 | November 7, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

"So America is taking it's orders from Catholic Bishops and Evangelical Protestants?"

I guess it's called influence. Too many voters come and listen to them every Sunday. Eh.

Posted by: clifc | November 7, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

It's also amusing that they are the only lobbyists who got an amendment into the rule.

Posted by: clifc | November 7, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Breath of fresh air if you ask me. The Democratic Party is mostly a slave to the abortion rights wing of the party. So much so that they came very close to killing the the parties key piece of legislation.

Now if only the Democrats were not trying to rush this bill through before the public could get some inkling of what actually in the bill.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 7, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

this is all well and good.......however ,they
must also include an amendment that will bar illegal immigrants from receiving health care benefits at the expense of US citizens.all in all congress should scrap this pelosi mess and start from scratch !

Posted by: cmt138 | November 7, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

And the bill still allows 12 million ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - Yes, WAPO ILLEGAL NOT 'UNDOCUMENTED'........................
people to get free healthcare on my nickel - NO WAY, NO DICE, NO DEAL!!!

Posted by: sandynh | November 7, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

The Representatives from Vatican City just want to ensure the supply of little boys for their clerics to molest.

Elmer Fudd hires an illegal? Elmer Fudd loses all his farm welfare--FOREVER!

Walmart hires an illegal? Walmart closes the store that hires them--FOREVER!

Of course the anti-immigrant crowd will wholeheartedly agree. Do the crime, do the time? What part of illegal don't you understand? Just like you say.

Posted by: Garak | November 7, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse


The 2010 midterms will be known as “Donkey-Kong”

It’s time to start thinning the herd.

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVirginia | November 7, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: moebius22 The Democratic Party is mostly a slave to the abortion rights wing of the party

We "abortion rights wing" consists of many women who have had to make a decision that affects the rest of our lives. It is not always easy to do but individual circumstances may warrant termination of a pregnancy. This is not necessarily a "birth control method" as so many people like to call it as it is a means of preservation for the woman, children she may already have, her future, her health and a number of other reasons.

It is ridiculous to think that an abused woman, an underpriviledge woman already living off a broken system, an incest victim....should not be allowed to CHOOSE.

For the Religious Nuts to tell me how to handle my health and mental issues goes against the "Separation of Church and State". If it is a sin in your religion, then don't have an abortion. Simple. Quit foisting your beliefs on a melting pot society. The Bishops Committee represents a religious effort. Planned Parenthood represent NON DENOMINATIONAL WOMEN OF ALL AGES, RACES, ECONIMIC BACKGROUN (although many of the poorer women use PPH due to lack of other choices) not a RELIGION.

PS I lost a 41 year old brother 2 weeks ago because he lost his health insurance. When he first became ill on a Tuesday,he wouldn't seek help. By Thursday when he collapsed, it was too late. He died Friday after suffering from accute pancreatitis. He couldn't afford the great American Medicine and ended up paying in the end.


Posted by: teresa7 | November 7, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

This issue has become an excuse for not getting anything done. I'm sick of it. The Republicans are saying "no" and the Democrats continue to make excuses and spin their wheels. Do they really care about the people who have no health care? They just create legislation that they know will go no where. They have managed to run their behinds into the ground. The Dems can't agree on anything. If they can't find anything else that will stop the legislation from getting passed they will throw in the abortion issue. It always gets tongues flapping and tails wagging. What a joke this health care suggestion has been. The longer they delay the bigger their pockets get padded. Isn't that how it works? Somebody tell the Dems that Americans who voted for them are getting weary.

Posted by: kteachums | November 7, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

sandynh wrote:
And the bill still allows 12 million ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - Yes, WAPO ILLEGAL NOT 'UNDOCUMENTED'........................
people to get free healthcare on my nickel - NO WAY, NO DICE, NO DEAL!!!
_______________________________________

No it does not. As of now, the Bill allows them to purchase insurance through the exchange. PURCHASE!!!

They get free healthcare at all of our expense today, along with the millions that have no insurance. Those of us with insurance PAY FOR IT NOW!

As to the abortion issue... put whatever retrictive language you want in the Bill. Someone wanting an abortion can use their own money to pay for it in CASH. It does not restrict them from obatining the procedure, only from using the Public Insurance Option insurance plan for getting one. It does not restrict their choice to obtain an abortion, only their reduced payment option through government run insurance.

Posted by: vmi98mom | November 7, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Does your job's health insurance cover abortions and/or birth control? If so, are you going to quit your job because your salary and premiums contribute to your co-workers' abortions and birth control? Are you going to drop your company's insurance? Have you protested to your human resources department against your company's selecting an insurance provider that covers abortions? Your employer controls your health coverage, not you. Just take a look at open enrollment. Your job decides what insurance choices you have.

Does the insurance coverage that Congress has cover abortions? Did their private insurance before being elected to Congress cover abortions? Why, then, did they stay employed by that company if they were against abortion? Does the insurance that the reporters have cover abortions?

If you believe that abortions shouldn't be covered by your money, you should drop any insurance that you have that covers abortions because your salary and premiums are funding them.

Posted by: humanbeing3 | November 7, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I am a Catholic conscientious objector and I would sure would like to see our bishops lead a movement to allow people who, on their religious principles are conscientiously opposed to all war, then also have the right to designate their tax dollars to only the nonviolent purposes of government. But sadly they are not likely to do that. There really is no "consistent ethic of life" in the Catholic church as the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin once spoke of it. Yes, our church opposes the death penalty, but you don't see the bishops advising their flock to withhold state and federal taxes that build the prisons and death chambers, or supply the death-inducing cocktail of drugs. Even at the start of the Iraq War, which Pope John Paul II declared as an unjust war, there was no message from the American Catholic bishops advising its military members to refuse deployment to that war. Jesus rebuked his disciple who tried to defend Him by violence, and he immediately healed the attacker. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you" is what Jesus taught us. But our church provides chaplains to and blesses the efforts of our military who kill the enemy.

Trying to legislate our moral treaching regarding abortion to force it on others who do not share our beliefs about life is not necessary for Catholics who can witness against abortion by not having them. The public is rightly skeptical of a church that says it holds all life dear and precious, yet time and again sees its leaders accommodating themselves in other areas to the death-dealing actions of the nation state.

Posted by: jsc1949 | November 7, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Why is there always such drama over abortion coverage? Although a medical procedure, except in rare circumstances abortion as practised in the United States is not a matter of health but of convenience.

It would be better to provide a special class of insurance, freely available on the market: call it "family planning insurance." It could cover the routine costs of abortion and other things such as pregnancy, birth control drugs and even adoption and anti-impotence drugs. It might even cover time off for post-natal recovery and nurturing. It could even cover things like accidental paternity.

Another choice (pun intended) would be for so-called family planning agencies who are so concerned about makng abortion accessible, and possibly even frequent, to subsidize abortion either directly through payments to the woman or indirectly through free clinics.

The procedure itself is not that expensive and women who want it can find a way of getting it.

Posted by: krush01 | November 7, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Religious people are idiots.

This is a good post:

Banning federal funding of abortion is a small price to pay to reform health insurance in America. I don't know why the religious in America have such a thing about abortion. They care more about unborn humanity than born humanity. Once babies are out and about they can live without health insurance, live in appalling conditions, go to violent public schools, grow up and get killed fighting in some senseless religious-inspired war. There does seem to be a Christians versus Muslims aspect to U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The simpletons who put Michelle Bachmann and Virginia Foxx in Congress view war to be a kind of cosmic football game, in which ethnocentrism is the ball. It's our ball. And we'll take it home when we're good and ready.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | November 7, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Let's let Catholics and anti-choicers write the whole bill. Come on, this is a Catholic nation, right? Send the bill to the Vatican for rewording.

Posted by: bdunn1 | November 7, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

This fight is far more serious than an argument over abortion! This bill will end our way of life. Is this what you supporters REALLY have in mind?

PELOSI: Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail
JCT Confirms Failure to Comply with Democrats’ Mandate Can Lead to 5 Years in Jail
Friday, November 06, 2009

For those of you morons that think this scam is some kind of handout, you better wake up! A mandate is not a handout. Are you prepared to pay for health insurance you don't want? If you refuse are you prepared to join the ranks of the prison population? Libtards I'd love to hear your arguments for accepting this deal!!! Try using facts!!!

Posted by: yankee11 | November 7, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

As a practical matter there are two "ticking time bombs" inside this bill which could cause moderates to vote against an overall approach to health care reform: the inclusion of abortion services and the continued payment for services to illegal aliens.

Many point out in this blog that since abortion is legal and that illegal aliens are ordinarily provided "free" or "subsidized" medical care, these practices should be covered.

The counter argument to both is that they perpetuate what many citizens believe is the use of their tax dollars for immoral or illegal purposes. But regardless of where one comes out on either issue, the fact is that including both in the bill is putting two major roadblocks in the way of passing a bill which will provide sorely needed benefits to 96% of our citizenry.

It appears to many of us moderates that the Democrats in the House are hell bent on pandering to and satisfying two large political constituencies rather than writing and passing a pragmatic bill for the common good. If enough moderate and blue dog Democrats find themselves forced to vote against this bill because their constiutents fell like wise, the President and Democratic leadership in Congress will have no one to blame but themselves for the failure of meaningful and comprehensive health care bill.

Posted by: bobfbell | November 7, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Yankee 11, typical right wing name calling. I'm not ready to accept continued increases in deductables, health care premiums denial of procedures and more.

Pass the ammendment and the reform bill. It will be changed in subsequent years. It pays to remember that the GOP opposed Social Security and Medicare. Their purported "concern" for these programs is hypocritical at best and fear mongering at worst.

Those, Yankee 11, are the facts. Deal with it and bdunn's anti-Catholic rant with it.

Posted by: NotBubba | November 7, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The Party of No has outsmarted the Democrats all the way. If people like Stupak oppose any effort to improve this country unless it is tied to a limitation on abortion, let them join the Party of No where they belong.

Whatever health plan if any comes out of this Congress will be almost worthless. Our national health crisis will continue to worsen. All human progress has been made by fighting for it. Obama's method of bringing everybody to the table (which he did not do in health care freezing out single payer advocates) and having them work out a compromise suitable to all is utter nonsense.

Posted by: Desertstraw | November 7, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"It won't be long until that power is leveraged to make you conform to the Government's will.. For example, if you don't drive the right type of vehicle, your insurance premiums might be higher. If you choose to smoke, you might not be covered. If you choose to sky dive for fun, your coverage will be dropped."

You mean exactly like private companies already do?

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 7, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

MoveOn has reportedly raised more than $3.5 million in contributions to fund primary challenges against "any Democratic senator who blocks an up-or-down vote on health care reform with a public option," according to an e-mail sent to group members on Thursday.

The e-mail warned that any Democratic House member who joins Republicans to filibuster the health care reform measure will "face an enormous backlash from the grassroots."


sounds like blackmail

Posted by: lucygirl1 | November 7, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The Catholic Bishops have surely screwed up this country. Remember when Kennedy ran for president, we were all afraid of electing a Catholic. Don't we have that now? Would this vote also limit coverage on the health of the mother during a pregnancy? I suppose it would. Also,in almost all cases adoption does not work.

Posted by: leokasel | November 7, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

AARP, which puports to represent the interests of Americans over fifty-five has endorsed the House health reform bill.

AARP has many critics who suggest that AARP represents only its own interests and that of its billion dollar insurance Empire.

Those critics appear to be correct since this bill:
1. Cuts Medicare by half a trillion dollars which will inevitably mean that medical services for seniors will be reduced!

2. Eliminates Medicare Advantage which means that seniors may lose their doctor and/or their HMO and will certainly find HMO's to be much more expensive!

3. Reduces Medicare payments to doctors which means that many more doctors will not accept Medicare patients.
Seniors on Medicare already have to search for a doctor who will accept Medicare patients due to inadequate Medicare payments and this will leave them with slim pickings.

AARP really does appear to be more interested in its insurance business than it is in lobbying for people over fifty-five.

AARP has already lost over a hundred thousand members due to their support of these Medicare cuts.

AARP will find its self with even more cancellations of memberships.due their endorsement of the House bill.

While they're cancelling their AARP subscriptions and their insurance with AARP, Americans over fifty-five should note 2010 and 2012 on their calendars.

In 2010 and 2012 they can cancel the job of every politician who votes for this Medicare-cutting bill.


Posted by: BruceMcDougall | November 7, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

A health care bill that pays for abortion is not health care.
This bill is dangerous as it will not only put us further into the $11 trillion dollars we already owe (and you will get taxed); but it also will add another 40+ million onto a government program that is broken. We can't even take care of the military and they want to add 40 million more? Pleassssssse. KILL THE BILL.

Don't see Pelosi offering you and me her insurance.

Posted by: 45upnorth | November 7, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

This restriction on the rights of poor people to spend there money on a health care
plan that also offers abortion coverage. Is unconstitutional and will be decided in court. The catholic church should lose there tax exempt status and that would put more money into the treasury's of the local, and state, and federal governments and there tea bag friends run around talking about freedom don't understand that means freedom of choice.

Posted by: Woodstocknative | November 7, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

AARP are losing members by the thousands every day...The leadership not representing the majority....now they'll pay dearly

Posted by: lucygirl1 | November 7, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I and a lot of Americans work for a living. As part of our compensation package, we receive health insurance benefits.

Work = Health insurance. "No tickee, no washee."

How dare the Shrieker of the House foist something on the American Taxpayer giving a "freebie" to those who choose not to work, devalue my earnings or worst, give away something that isn't their's to begin with.

The US Government is not a charity or a wealth re-distribution scheme-type entity. In case you folks haven't noticed, the Shrieker doesn't believe that you deserve tax cuts or more money in your pocket.

According to her, the more money you earn, the more you should pay, percentage-wise, rather than equal tax payments for equal earnings.

"Botox" Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats have got to go.

After all, Four years ago, weren't we better off?

Less than 4% unemployment?

Credit Card APR's at 4-7%?

Gasoline at $1.75 a gallon?

College tuition & fees 30% less?

"Hope and Change" is code for, be careful what you wish for, because you'll get "'Hope' for the best, but 'change' for the worst."

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | November 7, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Can we abort Taliban wing-nuts from our political system? Move to Afghanistan and create a Caliphate. There you can have a legal system that stomps on women in every way. These Taliban disguised as Democrats have no place in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | November 7, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The main issue here is that abortions are ELECTIVE, accept in the case of a VERY small few. Why should we have to pay for someone's CHOICE not to use birth control?

Abortions are ELECTIVE!! Should we pay for face lifts and tummy tucks too?

Posted by: dbeins | November 7, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness

++++++++
Nice that you still have a job. Then, there are better computer forensic experts in India. So your job will also get outsourced and then you will not have health insurance. That is, unless Nancy-pants fixes that for you.

Considering that you are reading the Washington Post, you are probably doing computer forensics for the federal government or as a contractor to the federal government. So, you are basically a welfare case. A cry-baby throwing stones in the very glass house that keeps you dry.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | November 7, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Hispanic lawmakers said they had received assurances from House leaders that the health bill would not be changed to bar undocumented workers from purchasing insurance through newly created insurance marketplaces. Language promoted by the White House and adopted by the Senate Finance Committee would establish such a barrier.

Joe Wilson was right - Obama lied.

Posted by: asmith1 | November 7, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"It would also block people who received federal subsidies for the purchase of health insurance from buying policies that offered coverage for abortions."

Abortion is a necessary and LEGAL procedure. Until it is otherwise, it SHOULD be covered, period.

What is with the commenters who say abortion is elective? Is a rape elective? Do incest victims get a choice? I suppose if your wife finds out in her 6 month of pregnancy that the child is severely malformed and continuing the pregnancy would risk her life, I guess you would force her to do so right? Such compassion!

So nice to know that women are still second class citizens in the US. Wouldn't it make sense that if the religious zealots get to decide on my abortion, I should get to weigh in on them having children? Fair is fair.

A commentator posted..."The US Government is not a charity or a wealth re-distribution scheme-type entity."

"Wealth re-distribution" I suppose you will send those social security checks back right? And you will stop allowing funding from the liberal areas (which subsidize most conservative areas as they cannot raise enough tax base to pay for their services) and live on the money your country brings in right? You will stop using public transit, stop driving on roads, stop using the library, stop sending your kids to school and not take any classes at a university that receives gov. funding right? Also you will stop buying milk, corn products, sugar, and any other product that receives federal support to prop up low prices. Didn't think so, hypocrite.

Posted by: janeway1 | November 7, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This is what I want to know:

Does the health insurance plan that all legislators have cover abortion services?

If it does, then they have no right to insist on anything different for the rest of us.

If it doesn't, then fine, so be it.

But I suspect that these same Senators and Representatives have a health insurance plan that does cover abortion, making them hypocrits.

Why should their wives and daughters be covered for abortion services and then they deny it to everybody else?

And above and beyond that - abortion is legal in this country. To effectively ban and refuse to vote for legislation that purposely doesn't cover a legal procedure seems to me unconstitutional.

Posted by: kentuckywoman2 | November 7, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Anti-abortion stuff is non-sense. Its a religious concept and now it set to impede the lives and health of millions of American's.

Anyone voting down the health care legislation for pro-life reasons should be voted out of office.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to figure out how the right,who lost the election, now want to reform health care to include their own religious-fascists vision of what constitutes care. We waited 30 years for the Repubs to address health care issues. Until now they couldn't care less. Now, they yell about losing THEIR freedom to chose doctors, hospitals, and medical procedures if this bill passes. Yet they don't mind standing between other women and her doctor based on THEIR religious beliefs. Freedom for them only. Not for women, not for immigrants, legal or otherwise, (they don't want immigrants to be able to buy insurance even without public funds). If I heard the message by the son of their god correctly, I don't think he would approve of their selfish, narrow minded views. I'm tired of those men in our government feeling that they can impose their will on women. As if they even cared once the baby was born.

Posted by: clairevb | November 7, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I find it really sad that the Conference of Catholic Bishops have such clout considering that 1) In this country there is a firm separation between Church and State (or Congress in this case) 2)They represent institutions that DON'T PAY TAXES 3) Since I do pay taxes, I would like my congressman to pay more attention to my wants (a robust health care bill that can meet the needs of everybody) and less time worrying about Bishops who have a one track mind. There is a lot more to our health care system than abortion. Sincerely, a very concerned doctor of public health.

Posted by: kapeterson | November 7, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Although WoPo was quick to report President Obama’s Thursday announcement of the American Medical Association (AMA) endorsement of the House health care reform bill in his attempt to beat back criticism that the bill would gut Medicare, I notice the WoPo conveniently has neglected to mention that the AMA endorsement has triggered a revolt among many members who want the endorsement withdrawn. Several members are outraged that the trustees made the endorsement without the formal approval of the organization's House of Delegates so on Monday, delegates will vote on a resolution to withdraw the AMA’s endorsement of the bill.

Posted by: A-COL | November 7, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The health care legislation also needs to cover illegal aliens as it would citizens. If we are going to blow billions in unneeded wars to save people who don't want us around then we can save the milions who stand on American soil.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Planned Parenthood and NARAL should lose their tax exempt statuses for being chills of a single issue and single party. That's clearly against tax rules.

Posted by: cprferry | November 7, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The preferred way to go on health care is make all health care cash basis..no insurance. Prices will fall fall fall.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

janeway,

'Elective abortions' excludes cases of rape and incest, which statistics show make up just 3% of all abortions. (Perhaps underreported, but certainly not to the level to promote unrestricted access and funds to the other 97%)

Posted by: cprferry | November 7, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to figure out how the right,who lost the election, now want to reform health care to include their own religious-fascists vision of what constitutes care. We waited 30 years for the Repubs to address health care issues. Until now they couldn't care less. Now, they yell about losing THEIR freedom to chose doctors, hospitals, and medical procedures if this bill passes. Yet they don't mind standing between other women and her doctor based on THEIR religious beliefs. Freedom for them only. Not for women, not for immigrants, legal or otherwise, (they don't want immigrants to be able to buy insurance even without public funds). If I heard the message by the son of their god correctly, I don't think he would approve of their selfish, narrow minded views. I'm tired of those men in our government feeling that they can impose their will on women. As if they even cared once the baby was born.

Posted by: clairevb | November 7, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with cprferry! Lets take away tax exempt status from all "single issue and single party"...starting with the behemoth of them all--the Catholic Church. Right?

Posted by: kapeterson | November 7, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I was going to post my comment about my tax dollars being used for a war I don't believe in, but cookhud already expressed those same feelings very well. Abortion is the law of the land, and Congress will decide how health care tax dollars will be spent. If they decide they can be spent on abortion, that's the democratic process. You and I don't get to cherry-pick how our tax dollars are spent.

Posted by: gparker1 | November 7, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Republicans want the House to Pass this Bill because they know it will not pass the Senate.

The House can pass anything.

If Republicans wanted to stop this bill today, all they would have to do was have all their members simply NOT VOTE on this amendment. The amendment would fail, because the Democrats can not get 218 Democrats to vote for it. Then the final bill would not have anti-abortion language in it and the 'blue-dogs' wold vote NO for the final bill.

Please pass this bill today Democrats.

This along with Cap & Trade will be very helpful in the fall of 2010 when both of these bills never get to the President's desk but you will be on the hook for two very unpopular votes.

Posted by: Washington13 | November 7, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

ObamaCare's obsession with abortion has NEVER been about the money.

You can have your baby mutilated and extracted by a Planned Parenthood hack for $400, so its NOT the money.

No, the abortion zealots want you to have BLOODY HANDS by paying for their abortions......

its that simple.

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 7, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

This is a little unsettling, having religious leaders tell the government to tell insurance companies what legal procedures they can and can't cover. Esp since there is a pretty large and significant (though not mainstream) far-right movement of religious leaders to lump in abortion (understandably hated, even though I'm kinda pro-choice) with other forms of contraception, and fight against public funding of any of them. (Look into Sen. Ryan's attempt to help subsidize (only) contraception for low-income women a few years ago, and the anti-pill, anti-condom movement of weirdos that brought out.)
That said, I'm not sure it's worth it for Democrats to lose the whole bill and as other people have pointed out cost lots of adult lives to protect insurance subsidies for abortions. If under the Hyde amendment women will have to pay for them with private money anyway, why not just save that money in case you need one? Perhaps if some women can't, abortion providers, who take in millions every year by charging $500+ for quick outpatient procedures, could offer more sliding-scale and payment-plan arrangements to meet the needs of the lower-income women they say they care about.
Medicaid & Tricare already don't cover abortions, so it's already only covered for wealthy women and women with private insurance anyway. From a practical standpoint I don't know why it's worth losing the bill over whether we make middle class women's coverage of a hopefully once in a lifetime or entirely avoided procedure on par with that of their poorer sisters.

Posted by: rrlogan | November 7, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

This is amazing hypocrisy. I thought one of the arguments against "our" government getting further involved in health care was not wanting a government bureaucrat between our doctor and ourselves? Yet, here we are demanding that exact intervention. Abortion, along with prostitution and drug abuse, have been with since pre-history and will continue well beyond our existence. The only proven way to deal with these societal "ills" is through legalization and openness and factual education. Or do we want our wives, sisters, daughters once again lying in back alleys bleeding to death?

Posted by: lennyp | November 7, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Congress is now an official religious theocracy. And we thought the Taliban was bad.

All religious institutions should be mandated to distribute condoms at the door.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Health Care Reform should not pay for abortions with taxpayer funds.
However, abortion is and should remain legal and what a person does privately is none of the goverments business or concern.
No man or woman has the right to tell a woman what she can do with her body. It is her decision.
This is just another ploy by the republicans and the religious right to destroy health care reform. Once this is resolved they will move on some other obstruction.
Health Care Reform is crucial for our country. The political games must stop and the welfare of the American people take priority.

Posted by: kathlenec | November 7, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't want my tax dollars going to pay for wars. All wars should be funded only by those that want wars.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The U.S. Catholic Bishops are steadfast in their opposition to the death penalty and yet they don't go to the wall about various pieces of legislation that would directly and indirectly fund that. Ditto for measures dealing with the war. They're not very consistent. . .

Posted by: Killoranz | November 7, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness

++++++++
Nice that you still have a job. Then, there are better computer forensic experts in India. So your job will also get outsourced and then you will not have health insurance. That is, unless Nancy- pants fixes that for you.

Considering that you are reading the Washington Post, you are probably doing computer forensics for the federal government or as a contractor to the federal government. So, you are basically a welfare case. A cry-baby throwing stones in the very glass house that keeps you dry.
-----------------------------
My friend . It took me over 10 years to build my practice. This means, I own my own equipment, software and computer systems. I made an investment of time, my own resources and education. I've eaten my share of Mac & Cheese, as well as Top Ramen to build my practice.

I'd rather work myself out of a mess, then take (as a WJR Reporter Ken Rogulski's interview) "Obama's cash from Obama's stash."

The purpose of government isn't to provide hand-outs. This money has to be paid back, unless the US Government goes through Chapter 10, like California and Michigan soon will.

Please don't pick on people who work as government contractors. They are required to provide a deliverable, whether it is a ship, aircraft, spacecraft or even a hammer.

People providing services as government contractors also provide services at a lower "wrap-rate" than employees and all of them, unlike those on-line in Michigan, PAY TAXES and GENERATE JOBS for those who live in their neighborhood.

What jobs? The grocery store, restaurant, gas station, lawn cutting, irrigation and the list goes on and these people and business entities pay taxes, too.

What would I propose?

1. No government subsidies.
2. Private high dollar deductible insurance pools.
3. Tax deductibility for health insurance, FOR EVERYBODY.
4. TAX-FREE Health Savings Accounts.
5. Expansion of the Health Flex-Spend Accounts.
6. Hands-off Medicare.
7. A review of all Medicaid claims, for fraud, waste and abuse.

Insurance companies operate at a 3% profit margin and continually need to improve their infrastructure and move with the legislative punches, like HIPPA.

If I can pull myself out of this mess, so can anybody else!!! I don't need ideas from the likes of King Obimbo, Botox Pelosi, or "Give them the Shaft" Reid propose.

We call it the Protestant Work Ethic, and you don't need to subscribe to the teachings or writings of John Calvin, John Stuart Mill or Thomas Malthus to understand it!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | November 7, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Abortion, along with prostitution and drug abuse, have been with since pre-history and will continue well beyond our existence. The only proven way to deal with these societal "ills" is through legalization and openness and factual education."

No offense to you personally, but this sentence kind of makes me want to throw up.
Rape, murder, and human slavery has always been with us as well, but legalizing that may not be such a great idea (though legalizing prostitution in fact increases all 3 of those things). I oppose legalization of prostitution and drug use (both of which demonstrably lead to increases in those practices, and often unchecked increases of the worst versions of them, leading to much greater human suffering than when they were illegal) precisely because I don't want my sisters suffering in back alleys or anywhere else. Unless you are anti-abortion, please don't lump the right to abortion in with oppressive prostitution and self-destructive drug use, which are both incredibly harmful to society's most vulnerable women.

Posted by: rrlogan | November 7, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

*have sorry not has

Posted by: rrlogan | November 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Only the unsubsidized portion of a health insurance policy will cover abortion. So if a poor person pays 10% of a premium and the government pays the remaining 90% then that 10% portion covers abortion.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

maddog,
i don't care if it covers it, but since you're up on this issue how would you counter that that's not a shell game, that a 10% out of the 90% could be just as easily said to cover it?

Posted by: rrlogan | November 7, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

How's about these pro-life jokers put on an Amendment that outlaws use of the death penalty. Let them but their money where their mouth is. Otherwise they are just obstructionists hindering the lives and well-being of American's.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The idea of letting religious people decide who lives, dies, or gets medical care is pure terror. I thought the days of Inquisition were over...yes?

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Stiffening the backbone of those who oppose abortion was the bishops' conference, which circulated a letter late Friday arguing that without such an explicit prohibition in the bill, the legislation could otherwise force individuals who oppose abortion to indirectly subsidize the procedure with their tax dollars."

Will the Bishops help me recover my tax payments that subsidized the Vietnam and Iraq wars?

The killing in those wars was not different from the killing by abortion.

Posted by: norriehoyt | November 7, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It makes NO difference what plan is voted on the Republicans will NOT VOTE FOR ANY HEALTH CARE REFORM OF ANY TYPE...PERIOD!!!

The Republican plan for health care is to KILL as many poor & sick as they can before the 2010 election.

It's a know FACT that more poor & sick people vote Democratic so for the Republican plan to work...They need to KILL OFF as many as they can. They need to make them homeless, destitute & too sick to vote or flat out DIE. IF they are to have a chance in 2010 at winning anything. The lower the voter turnout the better for Republicans.

The Republicans are even working on a stimulus bill of their own. It will cover the cremation cost for all those sick & dying from NO Health Care, NO home to live in, NO food to eat and NO Job.

That's one way the Republicans plan to get rid of Democratic supporters!

Posted by: imZandor | November 7, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I certainly would not want a religious bishop or other religious person standing between my doctor and my vagina.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

While I personally do not approve of abortion, except to save the life of the mother, I feel I have no right to impose my beliefs upon others.

We need reform and, if this it what it takes to get more Democrats on board, then so be it. We do have Roe v. Wade and other protections for those who are pro-choice.

I do, however, find it ironic, that those who loudly cry "baby killer" and worse, seem to have no problem with newbords being killed in combat a couple of decades later. Sounds like convoluted logic, but then logic rarely prevails in these arguments.

Posted by: NotBubba | November 7, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

This isn't about abortion. This is about turning over 1/6 of the US economy to political hacks, pollyannas and fools. Look at some of the stuff in this bill. It's utterly and remarkably not who we are as a country.

Posted by: LHS2 | November 7, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Today, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) released a letter from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirming that the failure to comply with the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in the Pelosi health care bill (H.R. 3962, as amended) could land people in jail. The JCT letter makes clear that Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.

In response to the JCT letter, Camp said: “This is the ultimate example of the Democrats’ command-and-control style of governing – buy what we tell you or go to jail. It is outrageous and it should be stopped immediately.”

Posted by: mike85 | November 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The anti-abortion forces are just a man thing trying to control women. The days of barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen passed away decades ago.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I think it is an outrage that one man, Bart Stupak can be such a redneck at a time like this. I can't stand it when men legislate to women what should be done with their bodies on religious grounds, especially considering that church and state are supposed to be separate in this country.

Remove "under god" from the Pledge of Allegiance. You don't need God to be an American Citizen, that's your choice. You don't need to push your views of religious issues on other people, you can make those choices on your own.

The first concern should always be, as Bill Clinton is so fond of saying "It's the economy, stupid." If the bill does what they say and reduces the budget by 10 billion dollars a year, I'm for it. That's fine.

Posted by: Balabanto | November 7, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The religious people need to get a life. They can start by demanding defunding of these here wars we are in.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

We are being told that the currently Unemployed on Obama's watch need Health Care Reform Now.

Yet, the bill will not provide coverage until 2013.

So I guess we can expect record unemployment for another 3 years. Then the bill will help the Unenmployed.

Posted by: Washington13 | November 7, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Bishops need to push for law outlawing use of taxpayer dollars to carry out the death penalty.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Tune in C-Span right away. Watch how the Republicans are disrupting the health bill debate. This minority is breaking all the rules and all their talk of freedom and democracy is being destroyed by their behavior in the House. Teabagger mentality prevails on the Republican side of the House right now. Shouting over other House members is not the democratic way, Repubs. You are stealing the free speech of other House members. Creeps.

Posted by: clairevb | November 7, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Failure to reform health care in the US, failure to provide adequate health care to ALL Americans, regardless of income, does MORE to encourage induced abortion, increase the risk of spontaneous abortion, and damage the health of fetuses, infants and children. And if parents do not have access to health care, they can not meet the needs of their children. So there is no rational argument for delaying reform on the basis of protecting the fetus or anyone else. I am vehemently opposed to the slaughter of other human beings in war, including fetuses, infants, and children, and yet Congress does not allow me to withhold or redirect my taxes from this terrible purpose.

Posted by: IAmend | November 7, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I didn't realize the Catholic Bishops were a legislative lobby. And they're tax exempt because....?

Posted by: AlanSF | November 7, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The good news is that some of these amendments open up the door for insurance companies to offer abortion only policies, which will thereby increase the number of abortions.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like the thugs in the Republican Party are currently attempting the destruction of the US Constitution.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Take all of the political hotbuttons out the debate, it still won't cure the fact that the government wants to take over 1/6 of our economy and have control over our personal lives.

I don't want them in my business, 1.2 trillion is only the beginning, fining/jailing people for non-participation, the cost of doing business...All to what? Cover a handful of people, the bulk of which aren't even citizens?

This is a crap bill. The more that this Congress acts, the more indepedent I become. The more that they write terribly expensive checks with our money, the angrier that I get.

I'm at the point where I just want them out of my life as much as possible. I want them to keep us safe and fix the bridges. Other than that, go away.

Not hyperbolic, just fed up. I'm voting out every incumbant in my pervue for the forseeable future. I'm going to become politically active in a way that I wouldn't have dreamed of before. If I could lock the doors to Congress and send them home for a year so that they could'nt do further damage, I would.

I'm really done with this. Not one more bill, not one more dime, not one more encroachment into our lives. Not one more good idea that we'll be held hostage to.

I have no more patience for deficit spending. I don't give a crap what Bush or Clinton did. I care what is happening now. We're in the worst recession since the Depression, and regardless what the idiots in the MSM are reporting, with double digit unemployement etc, we are not in a recovery. Not in any real terms.

Spend MORE now? Okay, the OA and Congress need to stop. What they are doing stinks and isn't working. No to government jobs, save the ones in the private sector so that we can eat. No, to further 'stimulus' that just pays off political cronies. No, to more access to tax dollars and pure unadulterated government waste.

There isn't anything that government can do that won't screw this up more. They have done enough, they need to just sit down and shut up.

No, to the bill. No...more.

Posted by: Geepers1 | November 7, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The Constitution separates church and state. The cowardly legislators who support this amendment are writing religious beliefs into the law, whether they understand that or not. It's simply wrong for these legislators to force their religious views on all of us.

Posted by: stuck_in_Lodi | November 7, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Too bad the Republicans did not debate the Afghan & Iraq war bills like they doing on health care. They could have saved millions of lives. These wars need to be defunded.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I would go alnog with no health care reform if we adopt legislation forbidding the exportation of American jobs or products to socialist nations.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Too bad the Republicans did not debate the Afghan & Iraq war bills like they doing on health care. They could have saved millions of lives. These wars need to be defunded.

Posted by: Maddogg
_________________________________________

Too bad Clinton appeased terrorists instead of defeating them, eh lib? No 9/11, no Iraq or Afghanistan. Talk about saving lives.
See lib, voting democRAT has consequences.

LIBERALS..FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS AND VOTES OF TERRORISTS 24/7!

"IMAGINE"....NO LIBERALS, WHAT A WONDERFUL AND SAFE WORLD IT WOULD BE.

Posted by: cschotta1 | November 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like the thugs in the Republican Party are currently attempting the destruction of the US Constitution.
Posted by: Maddogg


Where in the constitution does it say that illegal immigrants have a right to access a US government "public" option?

Posted by: jamespmarion | November 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

A government subsidy to kill our own spawn. Sounds a lot like a death panel to me.

Posted by: georgejones5 | November 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The Holy Rollers Society are it again. Trying to impede the will of the people.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the Republicans did not debate the Afghan & Iraq war bills like they doing on health care. They could have saved millions of lives. These wars need to be defunded.

Posted by: Maddogg
_________________________________________

Too bad Clinton appeased terrorists instead of defeating them, eh lib? No 9/11, no Iraq or Afghanistan. Talk about saving lives.
See lib, voting democRAT has consequences.

LIBERALS..FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS AND VOTES OF TERRORISTS 24/7!

"IMAGINE"....NO LIBERALS, WHAT A WONDERFUL AND SAFE WORLD IT WOULD BE.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GW Bush was supposed to defeat the terrorists. The terrorists were created by Ronnie Raygun and GHW Bush.

I can understnd the Republican line though. Blow up the world for no reason to show people we are tough. bin-Laden turned the Republican Party into a joke.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I and a lot of Americans work for a living. As part of our compensation package, we receive health insurance benefits.

Work = Health insurance. "No tickee, no washee."

How dare the Shrieker of the House foist something on the American Taxpayer giving a "freebie" to those who choose not to work, devalue my earnings or worst, give away something that isn't their's to begin with.

The US Government is not a charity or a wealth re-distribution scheme-type entity. In case you folks haven't noticed, the Shrieker doesn't believe that you deserve tax cuts or more money in your pocket.

According to her, the more money you earn, the more you should pay, percentage-wise, rather than equal tax payments for equal earnings.

"Botox" Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats have got to go.

After all, Four years ago, weren't we better off?

Less than 4% unemployment?

Credit Card APR's at 4-7%?

Gasoline at $1.75 a gallon?

College tuition & fees 30% less?

"Hope and Change" is code for, be careful what you wish for, because you'll get "'Hope' for the best, but 'change' for the worst."

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | November
_____________________________________


Good for your MR Expert.

Your job has not gone to India or CHINA like many of those in the IT, pharmaceutical, customer service ETC.

WHY DID THOSE JOBS GO - because companies make a bigger profit in those countries SOLELY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS.

And then there are of course those like myself who DO WORK HARD and have worked all our lives only to see NO substantial pay increase, our costs for healthcare SOAR along with the costs of everything else.
WHen you look at it, after 10 years on the my job, with promotions etc, with the cost of living added in and the SOARING cost of healthcare, I have actually been receiving LESS money NOT A PAY RAISE.

AND NOW MY health insurnace premiums are going up to over up over 33% for this next year. Of course this does not include the deductible of $5000 plus the cost of medications and those pesky PRE_Existing conditions which of course I am sure they will find because I had a zit when I was 12.

How many people in Japan, Sqitzerland, Germany, UK, France have filed bankruptcy due to MEDICAL COSTS??? ZERO
HERE 62% of all bankruptcies are due to medical costs - AND THEN PEOPLE LIKE YOU SAY THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE LIVED ABOVE THEIR MEANS>
I TAKE THAT TO MEAN THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE LIVED.

I fail to see the arguement that FOR_PROFIT is the only way to go when the rest of the civilized world has BETTER care FOR HALF THE COSTS, covers MORE AND MORE PEOPLE and NO ONE GOES BANKRUPT.
BASIC care should be a human right.

If we are not going to provide basic care for all then ABORTIONS should be allowed.

Posted by: kare1 | November 7, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a holy roller, I'm a moderate and guess what, there are people in this country that don't think like you do. Just becuase they disagree with you, doesn't make you right and them wrong.

Unless you're God and think that you have the only worthwhile opinion out there? Only YOU could be correct in your thinking? Wow, instead of believing in some religion, you are your own religion? LOL

Ah, once again a blurb from the 'tolerant' left, where tolerance only is granted to those of like opinion.

For the record, I don't go to church. At most you could call me a deist. But I support the right of those who want to have religion in their lives.

Posted by: Geepers1 | November 7, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Abortion" is not Healthcare!
You cannot compare anything to "Abortion".
Abortion is the most violent child abuse on earth. How would you like to be locked into a small area and then choked to death?
Or, how would you like to be cut from limb to limb with a scalpel? This is the most horrific "Elective Intentional Killing Procedure" of a Human-being. Get a reality check!
You can not call this "Healthcare"?
The taxpayer better not be forced to pay for the 4,000 abortions, that are being performed, in America each day.

Posted by: Logic3 | November 7, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the thugs in the Republican Party are currently attempting the destruction of the US Constitution.
Posted by: Maddogg


Where in the constitution does it say that illegal immigrants have a right to access a US government "public" option?

Posted by: jamespmarion | November 7, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Doesn't the Bible reference that? Since Republicans claim to be Christian they would not want to ignore the bible. ROFLMAO

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The long and short of this debate is. Abortion will be mandatory someday in the US as there will be simply too many people.

So, religious folks, take a deep breath.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Members of the House, a few questions for you:
1. As has been pointed out myriad times throughout human history: Just How Is It that those seeking abortion who cannot afford to pay for it outright are going to be able to raise a child? Please reference current unemployment rate, homelessness, stress on social support systems, government services, etc. in your consideration.

2. Are Exact Methods of abortion in contrast to contraception specified? Is my insurance provider now going to have a loophole to deny contraception coverage if the amendment does not specify what procedures/services/medicines are abortive and what are contraceptive? For instance, I currently reside in a backwater rural county in which my preferred method of contraception is felt abortive by the medical practice from which I sought and was denied care shortly after moving here. I traveled an hour to a semi-metropolis county to obtain it from a doctor who went to class that day of medical school. If you pass this amendment, I may have to travel to another state for CONTRACEPTION.

3. Is There An Exception in the amendment for victims of rape who desire an abortion? Or, is this amendment going to add insult to injury by further victimizing them to pay for an abortion out of their own pocket, if they can even afford to?

Posted by: schlohrdkncks | November 7, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

When will the pro-lifers be called on the justify their beliefs that the soul is infused at conception
The debate on abortion is merely opinion. Moral values are based on either self-centered, God-based or society-based non-provable basic assumptions. For the Catholic viewpoint let me excerpt from the free ebook series “And Gulliver Returns” (http://andgulliverreturns.info) The Abortion chapter in Book 4 elaborates the pros and cons of the 3 ethical assumptions. Let me attempt to summarize the changing Catholic position. From the 13th Century the views of St. Thomas Aquinas, that male embryos got their souls about 4 weeks after conception, females somewhat later, were the standard. His was a Christionized view of Aristotle’s ideas.
The crux of the modern idea, that the soul is infused at conception, might be traced to St. Paul (Romans 5:12) who started the ball rolling on ‘original sin.’ 500 years later St. Augustine popularized the idea. But the Blessed Virgin was born without original sin, her Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX declared this in 1854. Then in 1870 he decided that popes were infallible in church doctrine. So was his pronouncement retroactive?
Recent popes have generally followed Pius’s idea that the soul enters the zygote at the moment of conception. This brings with it some theological problems. Since many fertilized ova never implant in the uterus what happens to these little souls?
If you are really interested in the question, see the aforementioned chapter. It is done in detail.

Posted by: coachoconnorucla | November 7, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

For you Republicans who have missed this (among a great number of other things) you have been instructed to bring your kazoos to the steps of the US Capital to make some noise.

Posted by: Emmetrope | November 7, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Does it strike anyone else as somewhat sinister that they are doing so much of this stuff in the dead of night? Moderates, conservatives, progressives, and anyone else should demand more transparancy.

Posted by: chrojo01 | November 7, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This legislation should also include a provision to let people opt out of paying taxes to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the GOP is gunna have something shoved down their throats!

Posted by: Emmetrope | November 7, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

End the Holocaust in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bring the troops home.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"Abortions" should not be allowed for rape or incest either in this "Healthcare Bill", which is taxpayer funded. First of all, the pregnant Mother is with child, that is still an innocent human being. However, there would be women accusing an innocent man of rape, or even a relative, out of desperation.
The courts and jails could be full of innocent men. The "Whole" of "Abortion" is wrong and heinous. In short, "intrinsically evil".

Posted by: Logic3 | November 7, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

God blessed the world with Catholics! Thank you for all the babies you saved today!

Posted by: ItsOver2 | November 7, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

What Republican does not want the Democrats to commit political hari kari by voting for a monstrosity that will never become law?

Please pass this today.

It will crystalize in one week the sheer stupidity of Democrats.

First, they lose Virginia and New Jersey Governor's races that Obama heavily campaigned in. They perform worse in both elections that they did in 1993.

Second, Obama' failed stimulus awards Americans with 10.2% unemployment and 17.5% underemployment rates.

FInally, Democrats will put another stake in the ground next to cap & trade and stimulus votes that will lead to their demise in 2010.

Once again Democrats: Please Pass this Bill Today

Republicans need your stupidity on record in order to pound you with ads in 2010.

Posted by: Washington13 | November 7, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Pragmatically, this morally questionable procedure is not especially expensive. That it would not be insured would not exclude it from happening.

I don't want to help pay for any abortions, but I would not go so far as to decide anyone else's morality for them.

You can't legislate morality.

Pragmatically though, an relatively cheap procedure does not need insurance coverage, in practical terms.

Complications, on the other hand, do. But complications are generally covered by insurance anyway.

Posted by: HalHorvath | November 7, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing proportional to "Abortion"; the Elective Intentional Killing Procedure. It is heinous and intrinsically evil. Next question.

Posted by: Logic3 | November 7, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

It always seem to come down to some two bit slim bag putting up some false and typically salacious argument blaming women for wanting to control their own destiny and some other crap diatribe about something they read in a beat up old history book that some backwater preacher or radio jaw-flapper said meant something to someone and the whole house came tumbling down..What fools..

Get a SINGLE CLUE! This is 2009 - not 1850…If you want your insipid, junk religion to rule your vision of what the future of our people is all about then get the hell out of here. Move to texas and perish in a ditch close to that backwater parish your fairy tale stupidity came out of. We don’t want you here anymore.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | November 7, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

No Illegal immigrants, and no abortion funding?

FINE!

That is a GREAT compromise. Let's pass this thing and move into the 21st century already!

Illegal immigrants can buy all the health insurance they want at market rates... They DO NOT DESERVE A TAXPAYER FUNDED SUBSIDY!

Posted by: onestring | November 7, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Once this bill passes both houses, with the unemployment rate starting to moderate, Obama will be assured of another four years.

Go Barack. We must stop the Republicans from murdering any more American's simply because they lack health insurance.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

John Boehner. How many homeless and uninsured people will you kill today?

Posted by: Maddogg | November 7, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Unemployment starting to moderate?

It's 10.2%

My company is going to be letting more people go by mid-January.

NO NEW HIRES
NO TEMP HIRES
NO OVERTIME

If this bill becomes law, Democrats will lose in 2010 and Obama will follow Jimmy Carter to the 1-term club dustbin of history.

Posted by: Washington13 | November 7, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Every person should get medical care when they come to the emergency room. Legals or Undocumented workers, all persons, should get the medical care, if needed. Even a woman that went for an aborion and then an emergency comes about, because of the butcher doctor that botched her body-up, should be attended to by a legitimate and talanted doctor.

Posted by: Logic3 | November 7, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

andrew23boyle, it took more than the momma. how about the daddy who knocked her up pays?

Posted by: clifc | November 7, 2009 6:35 AM | Report abuse
----
Absolutely true but I don't care if she pays, he pays or they both pay as long as I don't have to.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | November 7, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Is this the end of the party of shove it done out throats Democrats.

Vote against Incumbents!!!!

Posted by: robinhood2 | November 7, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The Human-being was the same in the year of 1850 as in the year 2009. Human-beings like to live. Life is first, there is nothing that is proportionately more important. Next question.

Posted by: Logic3 | November 7, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

If I want an abortion, I can afford it and will get it. All Stupak and the rest are doing with their nonsense is discriminating against poor women.

Posted by: fluxgirl | November 7, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

While I think this stunt is just that, it seems to me that it is more important to pass the bill with or without the abortion restrictions. If this sets a precedent about picking and choosing how our tax dollars are spent, then put me down as not wanting any of my tax dollars to go to wars, the oil companies, the Congress or the FBI. As far as abortion goes, it seems to me that if everyone is covered under some kind of health insurance then they should be able to get birth control a lot easier and cheaper. That should reduce the need for abortions in itself.

Posted by: rjacobs1 | November 7, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

With six of the nine Supreme Court justices Roman Catholic and the undue influence of Catholic bishops on the Congress of the United States, the Bush years(both daddy and son) have apparently reduced our republic to the status of a Vatican state. Do you realize what the Catholic approach to women has been for a thousand years? This is disgusting but it is also a threat to our nation. When it comes to taxes, I don't get a choice to have my dollars opted out of the development of heinous weapons of mass destruction. Democrats should be ashamed of making such an option available to Catholic bishops and their servant citizens. Republicans have no shame as is evidenced by today's circus in the House.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | November 7, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Abortion is a legal medical procedure that should be available to women.

Posted by: jillcohen | November 7, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

No, nobody is discriminating against the poor women. They just do not want to be "Direct Participants" in Abortion, which is the intentional killing of a innocent helpless human-being, using taxpayers money. Next question.

Posted by: Logic3 | November 7, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

This abortion amendment is nothing but a trick to make democrats and republicans vote for this excuse for meaningful health care reform. House and senate members have two choices. Just because we need health care reform doesn't mean having to vote for this 2000 page bill. If they vote for it against the wishes of their supporters, their supporters will throw them under the bus. If they vote against it, Obama will throw them under the bus. He is promising lower costs, and who believes that? He is promising to start collecting taxes on us when the bill passes and then using that accrued money when the bill goes into effect in 2012 or 2013 or so. Who believes that money will be there when it is needed? Those who have to vote on this bill should throw themselves under the bus and vote against it. It's better than having Obama throw them under.

Posted by: mafox1 | November 7, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Abortion may be legal, but that does not make it "Right". I understand that the Germans also thought that it was legal. It was not "Right" then and it is not "Right" now. Roe v. Wade is Bad Law and Bad Law is no Law at all. An intentional "Abortion" is taking an innocent helpless human life and that is a fact. A scientific fact. Doctors take an "Oath" that they will do no harm. Killing an innocent helpless life is doing harm, so you cannot "classify" it as a healthcare procedure. Let us call it for what it is. The Elective Intentional Killing Procedure is definitely not a medical procedure. A "medical procedure" is suppose to help human-beings not kill them.
Next question.

Posted by: Logic3 | November 7, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Abortion is a legal medical procedure that should be available to women.

Posted by: jillcohen


So what? That doesn't make it right, correct, moral or even permanent. To many despots have been "legal".

Posted by: rplat | November 7, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

No tax-dollars to murder the unborn.

How does that question go? "How come abortion is called pro-choice but if you kill a pregnant woman it's a double homocide?

Posted by: lowercaseroman | November 7, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Abortion should be kept legal. Abortion should not, however, be used as a form of birth control. Pro-lifers should hold tight to their beliefs by not having abortions. Pro-choice individuals should be able to have abortions if they choose, but it should not be paid with taxpayers' funds.
This is a only a small issue with the proposed bill.
The bill should not be passed. 1) The country will not be able to afford it. 2) Illegal aliens should not have health care at taxpayers' expense. The current money used to give any benefit to illegals should be used to deport them and close borders. Our country can be entered legally. 3) We do not want the government holding the power of life, death or health any more than the insurance industry. The current system is broken, but there has to be a better, nonpartisan answer. Don't let Obama & Pelosi rush us into something we will regret. Send lawmakers back to the policy room to draft a better solution.

Posted by: dermarnp | November 7, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

There is no real freedom without choice. I am pro-choice. However, better to compromise a little now no matter how distasteful, and live to fight another day.

Whether liberal dems like it or not most Americans, after almost 30 years of Republican control in the Executive or the Congress, are moderates. So the way I see it, I would rather compromise on this issue in order to try to maintain a democratic majority in the House and Senate for 2010.

Posted by: amerigo1 | November 7, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Democrats for Life of America (www.DemocratsforLife.org) for their work in passing the health care bill. The Washington Post likes to talk about the Bishops, because of its bias in favor of Planned. The Post wants the public to see abortion as a "religious" not a "Human Rights" issue. The Catholic Bishops should be commemnded for their tireless advocacy of a the Consistent Life Ethic. But this health care bill had no hope of passage because of its public funding of aboriton, and it was Democrats for Life of America who worked tirelessly with the pro-life Democratic Congressmen and women as well as the National Conference of Cahtolic Bishops to broker this compromise. They all deserve a great thank you for bringing us health care reform!

Posted by: Pro-lifeFeminist | November 7, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

A very sensitive and complicated issue but Everything in life can be discussed and resolved..just hope it would be for the benefit of everyone ...anyway

I've read some great articles about this issue here..

http://www.lipmantimes.com/?cat=18

it also covers many other updates re Obama Administration...

Posted by: fozzy13 | November 8, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Those who are worked up over the by the Stupak amendment and equate that with taking away women's rights are creating their own paper tiger.

First off, there is no right today for a woman to get an abortion funded by the public. That will continue, so what is lost in this?

Secondly, how this elective procedure can be calmly described as a "necessary health procedure" is beyond me. For abortion to be construed as a necessary health benefit, one must accept pregnancy to be a disease. It is not, it is the normal and healthy outcome of intercourse.

If Planned Parenthood or their kindred pro-choice organizations feel so strongly about the "need" for abortion, then they are free to establish their own insurance plan, or pass the hat to collect donations. Just don't force the public to accept their twisted rationale and pay by compulsion. I suspect they realize that the pass the hat method won't get them the kind of money, or respect, they could have by taking it from the public in taxes or premiums.

They sure won't get a donation from me, or most of the people in my circle of acquaintances.

Posted by: DennyO | November 8, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I am a Christian but I don't feel the need to legislate morality. That said, I find it egregious that the money the public and I pay into taxes will be used to pay for abortions. For as much as abortions are a PERSONAL CHOICE like getting a tattoo, I find no reason to pay for someone else's personal choice to do what they want to do with their body. Individual rights beget individual responsibility. Pay for your own abortion.

Posted by: Reflections101 | November 9, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

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