Senate Democratic Leader Backs Abortion in Health Care, May Block Filibuster

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 27, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Democratic Leader Backs Abortion in Health Care, May Block Filibuster

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 27
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid claims to be pro-life but he confirmed today that he would be fine with including abortion coverage in a national health care bill. Reid put his imprimatur on requiring taxpayers to pay for abortions — a top priority of leading abortion advocates.

Reid’s comments came in response to John McCormack of the Weekly Standard during a breakfast this morning sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

In his response to the question about abortion coverage, Reid avoided answering directly and spent most of his time talking about the need to reduce unintended pregnancies, saying they would result in fewer abortions.

"I’ve worked–I don’t want to boast, but I think I’ve been the leader if not one of the leaders in promoting legislation dealing with contraceptives," he said. "[A]nd it’s kind of unusual with someone with my standing about abortion to be awarded in Nevada a legislator of the year award by Planned Parenthood. So I think I’m heading in the right direction."

Since he didn’t answer the question, McCormack asked him after the meeting if he could support a national health care bill including abortion coverage.

"I could," Reid replied.

Reid’s comments supporting taxpayer-funded abortion coverage in a health care package are especially concerning because Reid is supporting a procedural move in the Senate that could railroad any health care bill through the chamber without allowing Republicans their traditional filibuster.

Reid said Wednesday that he would support a so-called reconciliation bill which could pass with a simply majority of 51 votes and wouldn’t be subjected to a filibuster by pro-life advocates not wanting to promote abortion in national health care.

"I think it’s something we need to consider," Reid said, according to an AP report.

Reid backs the idea even though some members of his own party are concerned about it.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, a pro-abortion North Dakota Democrat, says he doesn’t favor the idea. Neither does Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a pro-abortion Montana Democrat who is working on a bipartisan health care bill.

"We have to give this bipartisan effort of Sen. Baucus a shot," Reid admitted, according to AP, before saying the special bill could be an idea.

"There are a number of different ways that can be accomplished, if in fact we decide we need to do that," Reid said of the bill, pointing to a House-Senate conference committee or having the Senate pass a budget resolution containing the health care bill.

In an interview earlier this month, the president of Planned Parenthood said the nation’s largest abortion business will pursue making sure abortion coverage is in President Barack Obama’s health care plan.

Cecile Richards sat down for an interview with CBN News national correspondent David Brody.

Asked whether she would be upset if President Obama foregoes including abortion coverage in his health care plan if he worries the plan will be defeated as a result, Richards said she wouldn’t back down from saying she wanted abortion included.

“This is a big complex issue and I think there’s going to be all kinds of work done over the next several months," she said.

"We are very focused on making sure that family planning services are covered in any kind of healthcare reform because for women it’s basic fundamental healthcare," she added.

Brody asked his question again because Richards failed to talk about abortion — instead mentioning family planning, which is sometimes used as a euphemism for abortion.

"Look, we’ll see, I think we’re in the early stages of these conversations and we would like women’s full reproductive healthcare covered in any kind of healthcare reform," Richards said.

Planned Parenthood also promoted abortion at a recent White House health care summit.

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