Pro-Abortion Language in Senate Health Care Bill Will Make Final Measure, Casey Says

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 7, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Language in Senate Health Care Bill Will Make Final Bill, Casey Says

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 7
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — When House and Senate Democrats meet behind closed doors to iron out the final abortion funding language in the government-run health care bill, one prominent senator says they will likely keep the Senate language that allows states to force taxpayers to fund abortions.

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey says in a new interview that the merged bill will contain the Nelson-Reid abortion funding language instead of the Stupak amendment.

While the Stupak amendment, which he House added to its legislation, prohibits abortion funding, the Nelson-Reid language does not.

Casey tells the Morning Call newspaper in an interview today that the discussion over which language to use "will be part of the debate in the conference."

"I thought we made, individuals like me and a few others made a lot of progress taking us from where we were in the original base bill to where we are today. For some, it is not good enough for some, and it will be a continual source of debate," Casey said.

Casey talked about his support for the compromise Nelson-Reid measure that he claims stops abortion funding even though it only allows states to opt-out, while others would force residents to pay for abortions under the bill.

" I think we made tremendous progress and in addition to making specific changes to the abortion section which I think were very positive and got us to a point where at least I can say we developed that strong segregation of funds to insure tax dollars don’t pay for abortions," he said.

Casey admitted that there is a danger that the Nelson language would result in losing the votes of pro-life Democrats in the House, led by Rep. Bart Stupak, who oppose the pro-abortion compromise he says will be included in the final bill.

"There is a concern about that, but I think we can reach an agreement between the two houses and get it passed," he told the Morning Call.

In a new interview, Stupak said he is prepared to block passage of the healthcare reform measure if the Nelson abortion funding and not his ban is included.

"It’s not the end of the world if it goes down," he told the New York Times about defeating the bill over abortion.

Stupak said he and 10 or 11 other representatives would vote against a final bill that doesn’t meet his criteria concerning abortion.

"Then you get the message," he said. "Fix the abortion language and bring the bill back."

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