Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Majority Favors Abortion Ban in Health Care Bill

According to Rasmussen Reports:

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters favor a ban on abortion coverage in any health insurance plan that receives federal subsidies. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 40% are opposed to such a ban in the proposed health care legislation now before Congress.

Those figures include 39% who Strongly Favor it and 26% who are Strongly Opposed.

There are some provisions in the health care plan before Congress that are more popular and some that are less popular but none as controversial. The reason for the controversy is that attitudes on the provision cut across the lines of support and opposition for the overall bill.

Meanwhile, as Congress returns from their Christmas break, pro-life Michigan congressman Bart Stupak says he is ready to fight for the unborn. He will find himself dueling members of his own party who don't want to see his amendment to strike abortion funding added to the final version of the legislation.

“We're in a holding pattern right now,” Stupak told the Bay City Times last week. “We go back Jan. 10 and I'm sure heavy negotiations will take place.”

The House and Senate have approved starkly contrasting versions of the bill -- with the House measure containing the Stupak amendment and the Senate bill including the Nelson-Reid deal that allows states to force taxpayers to fund abortions.

A conference committee featuring members of both chambers will meet, either formally or informally, to iron out the differences. When it does, Stupak hopes to be there, but he's not sure if that will happen.

“I just don't know,” he said, “I asked to be, but I doubt they'll let me because of the amendment. I'll still be in the room, though.”

Stupak told the newspaper his goal is to make sure the health care bill doesn't deviate from the Hyde amendment, which has been used for over 30 years to prevent direct federal funding of abortions.

“It’s current law and we want to keep it that way,” he said.

Stupak has said he has as many as 10-12 lawmakers who would vote against the final version of the health care bill if his amendment is not included. With the House measure receiving approval by a narrow three vote margin, Stupak's colleagues would be enough to derail the bill without his amendment in place.

However, on the other side, pro-abortion stalwarts led by Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, pledge to fight to keep the Stupak amendment out of the bill. But whether they go as far as defying Democratic leaders to vote against the bill is questionable.

"We do really want to have a bill, but we really are not going to compromise on something that goes beyond current law," DeGette told CQ-Roll Call today.

The Senate bill (HR 3950) also includes the Mikulski amendment that would allow the Obama administration to define abortion as preventative care and force insurance companies to pay for abortions with taxpayers' premiums.

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