Ben Nelson Still Backs Filibuster of Senate Bill Without Abortion Funding Ban
by Steven Ertelt
December 10, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As the Senate moves forward following the defeat of the Nelson amendment to prohibit abortion funding in the health care bill, amendment sponsor Ben Nelson says his position is still that he will filibuster the bill if his amendment or something like it is not added to the bill.
Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, has caught some flack for comments that made it appear he would reconsider his prior position — an absolutist one supporting a filibuster of a pro-abortion Senate bill.
My position hasn’t changed," he told Radio Iowa today, "but I am allowing an opportunity for another compromise to be considered even though I don’t know what else could work other than my amendment," he said.
Our proposal to ensure that the Senate health care bill doesn’t open the door to public funding of abortion was reasonable, Nelson said. It was rational because it followed established federal policy and it was right because taxpayers dollars shouldn’t be used to pay for abortions.
Nelson told the radio station that he is still hopeful a compromise can be reached, but he said he can’t support the bill without clear language banning abortion.
That is a possibility and thats why I’ve drawn a line in the sand, Nelson says.
I still want to leave open the opportunity that if they can come up with something that satisfies all the stakeholders here, we’ll look at it," he said.
However, in comments to the Omaha World-Herald, Nelson added, "I have said at the end of the day, if it doesn’t have Stupak language on abortion in it, I won’t move won’t vote to move it off the floor."
The concern for pro-life advocates is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will include in a manager’s amendment language that would either be a phony abortion funding ban that would somehow satisfy Nelson or an authentic funding ban.
The latter would be included with the intention of getting Nelson’s vote for the bill and then pulling the ban from the bill in conference committee.
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