Planned Parenthood Opposes Senate Version of Stupak Amendment on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 2, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Opposes Senate Version of Stupak Amendment on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 2
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The language of the Senate version of the Stupak amendment to stop abortion funding in health care hasn’t been made public yet, but Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards wasted little time in condemning it. Sen. Ben Nelson only revealed yesterday that he is working on the amendment.

Nelson said he would sponsor language that mirrors the Stupak amendment the House added to its version of the government-run health care bill.

The amendment prevents abortion funding through both the public option and the affordability credits found in the bill. Nelson said his version of the amendment would be almost identical, except for variations of wording in the Senate bill.

In Washington for a pro-abortion rally with a turnout that is much lower than expectations, Richards sent out an email today begging for help to oppose Nelson’s amendment.

"We must stop them, and we need your help. Please, send a message to your senators right now," she pleaded.

Richards resorts to claims that factcheck web sites have proven false to call for opposition to the Nelson amendment.

"With both Republican and Democratic support for this damaging amendment, it is entirely possible that the resulting health care reform legislation will eliminate access to private health insurance coverage of abortion for millions of women," she contends.

"As we saw during the vote in the House of Representatives, anti-choice groups will stop at nothing to influence the vote because their goal is to outlaw abortion, no questions asked. We can’t afford to let up for even a moment," she added.

"The anti-choice Stupak ban in the House and now the proposed Hatch/Nelson ban in the Senate represent a huge step backward," Richards argues. "If health care reform passes with this kind of amendment intact, it would be the most serious restriction of access to abortion coverage in a generation. I can’t let that happen. I hope you can’t, either."

Nelson said Tuesday "I’m working on an abortion amendment. It’s as identical to Stupak as it can be."

Nelson said he is working on the amendment with other senators but declined to name any lawmakers who are supporting his effort, adding that "perhaps" other Democrats are involved.

"The only thing I’m talking about is the Stupak plan, which is referred to as an abortion issue but I think the president was right when he said this bill’s not about abortion. It’s about how you account for federal dollars to stay consistent with Hyde and the long-term federal policy of not using tax dollars or federal monies to fund abortions," Nelson said.

Nelson is joined by Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, for a bipartisan amendment they hope will attract more of their colleagues.

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