Thursday, December 03, 2009

Life Links 12/3/09

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) plans to offer an amendment to Senator Reid’s health care reform legislation (with Stupak-like language) and will vote to block health care reform if the language in the bill regarding abortion isn’t changed.
“My Senate amendment would ban any public funds from paying for abortions under a new health care reform bill,” the Nebraska Democrat said Wednesday.

The amendment would be among dozens expected to be offered.

Nelson said he will vote to block the bill if the abortion language in the bill is not changed.

According to a National Journal blog, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) isn’t sounding as reassuring.
One of Nelson's anti-abortion colleagues is showing some flexibility on the cloture vote. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., told CongressDaily that the lack of an abortion provision may not prevent him from moving the bill along to a final vote. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will need both Casey and Nelson to reach the 60-vote threshold to push the bill to a final vote.

In the Harvard Crimson, Nicolas Lewine discusses pro-choice complaints against the Stupak amendment.
However, let us discuss for the sake of argument the small subset of women for whom the Stupak amendment would make abortions prohibitively expensive. The claim that this fact deprives them of their “right to choose” merits further inspection. First, it implies that abortion is the kind of thing that women not only have a right to obtain, but also that they have a right to obtain regardless of whether they can pay for it. To illustrate the difference, this argument likens abortion to the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you. Contrast this with my right to ride the subway—I certainly am entitled to ride the subway however often and for however long I want, but only provided that I can pay for it. In either case, abortion is considered permissible, but only in the former case would the government be right in funding it. The anti-Stupak arguments do not provide any reason why abortion should become one of the former, stronger kinds of rights.

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