Democrat Bob Casey Will Work to Remove Abortion Funding From Senate Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 26, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrat Bob Casey Will Work to Remove Abortion Funding From Senate Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 26
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — As one of just two Democrats in the Senate who call themselves pro-life, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is in a position to become the leader within his party on efforts to remove abortion funding from the health care bill. On Tuesday, Casey said he would do just that.

Casey confirmed he will work to try to remove the massive abortion funding in the bill that comes through the insurance plans offered in the proposed health insurance exchange via the public option and affordability credits.

The House bill includes an amendment by Rep. Bart Stupak that removed the abortion funding and Casey told Congressional Quarterly he will push for something similar, but would not say he would oppose the Senate health care bill if abortion funding remains.

Casey said there is "work to be done" on the issue of abortion funding, adding, There’s an obvious difference on where the House came down and where the Senate is."

Casey hinted that he may promote adding his Pregnant Women Support Act as an amendment to the legislation.

That is a bill spearheaded by Democrats for Life of America as a way to put more abortion limits in place as well as funding for social service programs and pregnancy centers that help women with unplanned pregnancies.

"The only other way to reduce the number of abortions … is to help pregnant women so if they choose to have a child they can get the help and support they need," he said. "I don’t know what vehicle that will take, whether that will be one amendment or more than one amendment."

If the amendments to strip abortion funding fail, which political observers say is likely because they will need 60 votes, Casey could join Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who has already said he will oppose the bill if it funds abortions.

Although Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat who voted for a similar amendment to the Senate bill to de-fund abortions that failed in committee, is considered a prospect for putting the amendment forward, Sen. Orrin Hatch has already said he plans an amendment.

Hatch said on November 17 that he would sponsor on the floor the amendment he tried to get attached to the bill in two different committees — that Casey voted for this past summer.

When asked if his amendment would mirror the Stupak language, Hatch replied, "I think so, I think that’s a fair appraisal."

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