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Abortion Compromise Unconstitutional? Key House Members Raise Objection

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Brian Beutler
Sunday, Dec 20th, 2009

A number of key pro-choice Democrats–including Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA)–have said they can get behind the new abortion compromise in Senate health care legislation.

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), author of an early abortion compromise that would have required insurance companies to segregate federal and private dollars, and to finance abortions through the latter pool, is disappointed, but ultimately supportive.

Capps says:

I am pleased the Senate appears to be moving forward on health reform, however, I am disappointed that women’s access to full reproductive health care is again paying the price. The provisions regarding abortion services in the underlying Senate bill, based on my earlier proposal, ensured that federal funds would not be used to pay for this legal medical procedure yet still provide women in need with access to this procedure. This latest compromise is far from perfect but it will allow most middle and low income patients to purchase comprehensive health insurance plans, something the House bill language would prevent. As we move forward with this historic legislation, we must ensure all patients can purchase health care plans that best meet their needs. I want to thank the Senators, especially Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), who worked to maintain a common sense compromise approach to this challenging issue.

But Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY)–co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucuse–say they’re not sold. They say the new compromise is possibly unconstitutional, and that they and other pro-choice House members could still reject it.

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This article was posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 5:33 am

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