Link for 12/3 – The debate has begun…
Stupak is to the house as _____ as to the Senate? What are our clues? Well, we need someone in the Senate who is a Democrat, but is solidly anti-choice. There were several potential choices but, now, we have our answer. Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Ben Nelson of Nebraska. According to several media reports, Nelson is introducing an ammendment based on the one that passed the house that would severely restrict the ability of women to get abortions.
There has been much controversy around this and rightly so. What we are really talking about is banning a safe and completely legal medical procedure? And, we are settting up a system where all operations that men have are covered, but we aren’t covering an operation that women have. I have a real problem with that. Just because you may be opposed to the procedure doesn’t mean that we should make it nearly impossible for others to have it. The Hyde Ammendment is bad enough in that it prohibits any Government money paying directly for abortions. But to go further, as Republicans and some Conservative Democrats are doing, smacks of the kind-of big government micro-managing that these folks claim to be against. Going further means that NO insurance company that receives any government subsidy would be allowed to cover this legal procedure. Going further means that women would have to either pay for abortions out of pocket or buy supplemental insurance which, in all liklihood, would be extremely expensive. Going further means that some women who keep their current insurance will lose services that are currently in their plan. Going further is a terrible idea.
In the Senate version of the bill there is a provision which, like the one proposed by Representative Lois Capps in the House, essentially maintains the rules set forth by Hyde. The difference is that Capps and Reid do not change the rules to make them more restricitve and make abortions significantly harder to get. It is ironic that the only ones who would be changing the rules (Nelson and Stupak) claim they are doing what they are doing to in order to keep the rules from being changed.