Pro-Abortion Leader in House May Back Nelson-Reid Abortion Funding in Bill
by Steven Ertelt
December 29, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The big question that could decide the fate of the pro-abortion government run health care bill in Congress is what abortion language will the conference committee use in the final bill. Will it adopt the Stupak amendment the House okayed to ban abortion funding or the Nelson-Reid language.
The compromise language still funds abortions — but not enough for some abortion advocates in the House or for pro-abortion groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood to sign off on it.
In what could signal the direction the conference committee will go, one of the top pro-abortion activists in the House says she could envision herself supporting the Nelson language.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, has been asked by House Democratic leaders to help fashion the final abortion funding language — so her comments have added importance.
In a new interview with the Huffington Post, she said she could support the Nelson-Reid language as long as it did not go further than the Hyde amendment (though pro-life advocates correctly point out it doesn’t come close to the time-honored abortion funding ban).
"There are some questions I still have," DeLauro told the pro-abortion web site. "And that’s why I want to see this side-by-side with the language."
"It’s not Stupak-Pitts [the House’s language]. So, it’s already [an improvement]," the former Emily’s List executive director said. "And it would appear to be current law. I would have to look at the questions that surround it, et cetera. But if it is current law then it would be something that was my goal at the outset: let’s maintain current law and then let’s pass health care."
DeLauro told the Post that the Nelson-Reid language may work because it is seen by some as a compromise because neither side of the abortion debate is happy about it.
"It’s maybe a compromise where no one is that happy," she said. "It would appear that you’ve got the Catholic Bishops who aren’t happy. But [Sen. Ben] Nelson (D-Neb.) found his way there as did Senator Bob Casey."
"And the pro-choice side said, ‘We don’t like this as much as we would like to not deal with this language.’ But, you know, we’re not going to defeat health care," she added.
That final point may be the motivating factor that gets abortion advocates who oppose even the very minor limits on abortion funding in the Nelson language to ultimately support Nelson-Reid. House Democrats may see the need to move the bill as more important than placating the most extreme components of the pro-abortion movement.
House abortion advocates may also face pressure from their Senate colleagues who supported the Nelson-Reid language.
However, the adopted Nelson language still has its pitfalls.
Rep. Bart Stupak has made it clear that he and a group of 10-12 lawmakers who voted for the House bill (which was approved by just three votes) will vote no on the bill if the Nelson language is used.
Thus, it appears that, without the Stupak amendment added to ban abortion funding in the health care bill, House Democrats are still between a rock and a hard place.
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