Senators Nelson, Boxer Debate Amendment to Stop Abortion Funds in Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senators Nelson, Boxer Debate Amendment to Stop Abortion Funs in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 7
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Senators Ben Nelson and Barbara Boxer took to the floor of the Senate Monday afternoon to do battle for and against an amendment Nelson sponsored to stop tax-funded abortions in the Senate health care bill. Boxer engaged in what pro-life advocates called a misinformation campaign.

"For more than three decades, taxpayers money has not been used for elective abortions, and it shouldn’t in any new health legislation either," Nelson said.

"A clear majority of Americans support this prohibition of using federal money for abortion," Nelson said. "Most Americans prefer the health care reform we’re working on remain neutral on abortion."

"Most Americans — even some who support abortion — do not want taxpayer money used for abortions, so we should not break precedent," he continued.

He noted the Supreme Court has ruled that government may regulate abortions and disallow public funding of them.

“For more than 30 years, taxpayers’ money hasn’t been used for abortions, a standard that has the broad support of the American people. This rule now applies to federal health programs covering veterans, federal employees, Native Americans, active duty service members and others, and should extend to those covered by any new health care bill," he explained.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a pro-abortion California Democrat, responded to Nelson’s comments by claiming that the abortion funding in the Senate health care bill somehow preserves the Hyde amendment, which has prohibited abortion funding since the 1970s.

"Senator Reid has crafted a bill that preserves this three decades long agreement," Boxer claimed.

"It’s very clear in the underlying bill that there is a firewall between federal funds and private funds," Boxer added about the accounting gimmicks used in the current bill to hide the government funding of abortions.

During her comments, Boxer blamed men in the Senate for bringing the Nelson amendment and relied on a sexist argument that somehow they are not representing women and that they would favor funding men’s reproductive health care but not that of women — equating a popular sexual drug with an abortion.

"Please don’t single out women," Boxer said in a speech on the Senate floor. "What have women done to deserve this? … Why have such a lack of respect for them?"

In her remarks, Boxer claimed the Nelson amendment would make it so women are prevented from using their own money to pay for insurance coverage for abortion even though the Nelson amendment specifically allows women to do so as long as they do not use government funds.

Boxer also claimed pro-life advocates want to put women in jail who have abortions, even though pro-life groups do not favor doing that.

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