Senate Rejects Nelson Abortion AmendmentDecember 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
By a vote of 54-45, the Senate today voted to table Sen. Ben Nelson’s [D, NE] amendment that would have blocked all women purchasing insurance on the new Exchanges from buying a plan that covers elective abortions, even if they are paying for the plan entirely with their own money. The amendment language largely mirrors one from Rep. Bart Stupak [D, MI-1] that was added to the House’s health care bill.
Without the amendment, the bill already restricts federal funding for elective abortions by requiring all government-provided insurance subsidies to be segregated from privately-paid individual premiums for the purpose of ensuring that the cost of abortion coverage is fully covered by individual premiums. This essentially maintains the Hyde Amendment, an agreement that has been reauthorized by Congress annually since 1976 barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortions besides those resulting from rape or incest, or when the pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk.
Democrats who crossed the aisle to vote for the more restrictive Nelson amendment were:
Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote to maintain the restrictions written into the underlying bill were: