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Senate Will Vote on Controvesial Abortion Language

December 1, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Strict abortion funding language similar to what Rep. Bart Stupak [D, MI-1] added to the House health care bill, which most agree goes beyond the restrictions that already exist under existing law, will get a vote in the Senate.

Conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson [NE] will introduce an abortion funding amendment modeled after the Stupak language to the Senate bill this week, reports The Hill. Like the Stupak amendment, it is expected to bar anyone buying insurance through the new Exchange from purchasing a plan that covers elective abortions, even if they are buying insurance with their own money (without any federal assistance).

Because it will almost certainly be filibustered by the Democrats, the amendment will need a 3/5ths majority in the Senate, or 60 votes, to be approved. Most Democrats think the Senate is more pro-choice than the House and that the Stupak language does not have 60 Senate votes. It was approved in the House with less than 3/5ths support.

You can read the Stupak language in the House bill here.

Read the language as currently written into the Senate health care bill to restrict federal funds for abortions, which would be changed by the Nelson amendment, here.

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