October 28th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

How should health care reform handle abortion?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to health care reform - there are few issues that are more explosive than abortion. Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan says he wants to make sure that taxpayer dollars do not pay for abortions. Stupak says some of his fellow Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are not happy with his public campaign to change the bill.

He says he's been working with party leaders on a compromise, but so far nothing... The congressman says if there's no vote on abortion funding - as many as 40 Democrats could vote against the health care bill in its entirety.

Over in the Senate - the Finance Committee bill contains provisions that Democrats say would keep federal money from covering abortions. But Republicans and other critics say these measures don't go far enough.

President Obama has vowed that "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions." And, that's been the law of the land for decades. The 1976 Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions through Medicaid - except in cases of rape, incest, or medical necessity.

Meanwhile - one 2003 study found that 46 percent of insured workers had coverage for abortions. Supporters of abortion rights say that if the government bans plans that offer abortions - it would mean millions of women could lose the benefit they currently get.

One thing is for sure: Until abortion is resolved as an issue in health care reform, there won't be any.

Here’s my question to you: How should health care reform handle the issue of abortion?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Susi from Tucson, Arizona writes:
I don't think abortion should be funded by the government if it is used as a tool for 'birth control'. But I do feel it should be covered in case of rape, incest and health issues. For any other reason, the person seeking an abortion should bear the cost.

Theresa writes:
Viagra is covered by most health plans, birth control pills are not. Female fertility problems are rarely covered, while male fertility problems are. If men got pregnant, we wouldn't be having this argument. Abortion rights would be written into the Constitution.

Ralph writes:
Many of us would like to see abortion covered but since this is such a hot political issue, it does not look likely that health care reform could pass without nixing it. It’s a likely topic for compromise in the interests of getting the legislation through Congress this year.

James from New York writes:
Abortion should be covered only if it is the result of rape or sexual assault. Other than that, people who are against abortion shouldn’t have to pay for just anyone who wants to abort a child. I am for public option, but against abortion.

Eileen writes:
Gee, I'm a conscientious objector to war, but I don't get to tell the government not to spend my tax dollars on Iraq or Afghanistan. Why then should a conscientious objector to abortion get to tell the government not to spend their money on a legal medical procedure? Whatever happened to the so-called separation between church and state?

Dave writes:
I have no problem with taxpayer dollars used for abortion in the first trimester. The alternative will most likely be taxpayer dollars to support the unwanted children. If the abortion issue is a deal breaker, then let's get it out of the bill.

Filed under: Abortion • Health care
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Tom from Philly

    Man I thought that thar consitution-a-thingy had a provision about the separation of church and state. Aren't the opposers of federally funded abortions also against welfare but very pro-gun? Maybe if we found a way to do abortions with bullets we cold gain their support. Hm just a thought...

    October 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  2. Mike in Greeley, CO


    I don't think Universal Health Care should necessarily handle abortion. That is one thing America is and will always be divided on. Leave it to the private companies to decide for themselves, and in most cases, it will come down to the individuals seeking abortion to pay their own way through. What angers me is the same people who oppose abortion don't want the government funding school programs, day care, and maternity leave. Enough with the abortion debate, lets talk about real family matters.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  3. Al

    It's Healthcare reform, not contraception reform. If a woman's health is at risk, it should be funded.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  4. Don (Ottawa)

    I agree that abortion should not be supported by the Health Care Bill except in cases of rape, incest, or medical necessity (to save the life of the mother). Another option would be to outlaw abortion all together and require anti-abortion groups to pay for the deformed and retarded, counciling for women who have been raped and child care services for those mothers who cannot afford an unwanted child.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  5. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    Are you saying that if this bill passes ... that the Government will dictate what kind of insurance the private insurers would 'be allowed' to offer? George Orwell must be smiling wherever he is. I personally believe that abortion should be a woman's choice. But, on the other hand, I don't believe abortion ... other than in the cases of rape, incest, or medical necessity ... should be paid for by taxpayer dollars. However, if a private insurer offers abortion insurance and the premiums are paid for by the insured, that's not using taxpayer dollars is it? Boy, Jack, for someone who looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, you sure stir up the pot don't you? LOL

    October 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  6. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    It should not be in the bill pro or con................

    October 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  7. John

    Like any medical matter. It is a private conversation between the paitent her doctor and family. No one else should be involved.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  8. George-TN

    My comment probably won't be posted or read anyway, but let's give it a try...No health care policy I've ever heard of pays for an abortion. I might be wrong, but I've looked at a few health insurance policies in my time and that's one of the things it strictly prohits, unless it occurs as the result of a medical emergency that threatens the life of the mother or the fetus cannot survive under normal conditions, but at no time as an elective procedure by the patient. Medicare doesn't fund abortions either, so my question is simple...why is this even a question at this point? Of course, the idea of covering abortions will not be part of any legislation currently moving through the House or the Senate now or in the future. Insurance companies don't pay for injuries resulting from acts of war either...

    October 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  9. Paul

    Once the government starts paying for abortions- what comes next....?

    October 28, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  10. Allen L Wenger

    It is a legal medical procedure that has many complications. The decision should be between the monther and the doctor, it should not be made in advance by the government. It can cause death or injury to the mother and should not be excluded because of some people's religeous beliefs.

    Mountain Home ID

    October 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  11. keith in ky.

    If the people in congress were serious about no federal money going to abortions they would put it in the bill in no uncertain terms, so since they will not do that, they have it hidden somewhere in the bill, so some loophole is in it I guarantee it. And since when did killing a innocent baby become healthy or caring, unless there were special circumstances, that could be proven.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  12. Barb

    What a controversial subject Jack.! I do think it should be covered within Healthcare. Every time a person (especially pro life) they just don't think straight. Some abortions are done to save the mother's life, but sadly many people just over react. So many people in politics just banter their cause and don't look at ALL the facts.

    Norfolk, VA

    October 28, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  13. Mark

    Abortion is a violation of the Hipocratic Oath....First, Do No Harm.....it really is that plain and simple.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  14. Carolyn, Pensacola, FL

    Yes, health care should include abortion, birth control and any other reproductive issues that affect women and that women need to utilize at any time in their lives. Men don't get pregnant. If they did, as the bumper sticker says, abortion would be a sacrament. All we see anymore are Viagra, Cialis and Extenz commercials, whereas before men were ashamed to admit that they had problems with erections. Now it seems to be a badge of honor, or more likely, something else for men, by men to help their incessant sexual drives. Perhaps they should get out of the bathtub, pop a Prozac and relax for a change.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  15. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    If after decades of debate on this issue it has come to a compromise of our collective consciousnesses that the current provisions are adequate, then the provisions of this issue should remain as it is.

    Evil, in my view, is the manipulation of all consciousness by a one sided ideology. For either Democrat or Republican to use this health care initiative for their one sided doctrine would in itself therefore be evil.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  16. Mike from Denver

    Jack, they cannot have it both ways. Abortion has been ruled legal. Now, if the government wishes to become an insurance service provider, then the plan must cover all legal procedures. Congress and the president do not get to pick an choose.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  17. luci - Peoria, Il.

    The Hyde admendment should be followed. A law is a law. It wasn't changed in the last administration and why should it be now? I feel sorry for anyone that is raped or live with insist. That would be horrible, especially if you did not have money to have an abortion for a something you do not want any part of. A man does not understand, since they do not have to go through it.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  18. vern-anaheim,ca

    jack,i believe in abortion in some cases like where the female is the victim of rape or incest,no female should have to go through having a child she didn't ask for.i also believe no female should be forced to have a child that would be horribly disfigured or retarded.with todays technology available it can be pre-determined far in advance if the child is going to be disfigured or vastly retarded.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  19. Melissa

    People need to learn that their religion applies to them and them alone. Abortion should be fully covered in cases of rape and as a life saving measure if the woman is in immediate danger of death. Whether the religious like it or not.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  20. Jane (Minnesota)

    Jack I am prochoice, but I do not feel that abortion should be coverage in any program receiving Tax dollars. Pro-choice means it's your choice – to me that means if you choose it, you should pay for it yourself.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  21. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    It Shouldn't.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    October 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  22. Jack in Florida

    Abortion is elective surgery and should come under the same rules as liposuction, breast enhancement, and everything else that is not covered under normal health insurance. If it is needed to save the life of the woman of course it should be covered.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  23. Alan Jay

    As long as abortion is legal in the United States there is absolutely no reason to make abortion part of healthcare reform. It is an infringement into women's private health issues.

    As the immortal Eddie Cantor song "Aint We Got Fun?" lyrics say: "The rich get rich and the poor get children."

    It is always the poor that suffer the most when it comes to government. Women of means have always found the money and qualified doctors when needed.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  24. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Like any other medical procedure, abortion should be addressed by the doctor and the patient as it is no one else's concern. Sure, the republicans want to politicize this issue as usual, but when it comes down to it, it's much too personal and important an issue for politicains to interfere with.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  25. Ed

    Pregnancy isn't a disease. Abortion should be pay as you go and never be covered by health insurance.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  26. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Abortion should not be treated any differently than any other procedure. Next, heart transplants will be excluded.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  27. Vinnie Vino

    Any health-care-reform should prohibit federal funding of all unnecessary medically needed abortion, except to save the life of the mother or the unborn child . However for the pro anti-abortion members in congress to achieve this objective they should be forced to accept increases in all federal social programs to help low income mothers support the childern those members are forcing them to have in the same vote, which will cost the government more money in the long run...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  28. vdH in Mansfield, Ohio

    I think they're going to have to "officially" keep it out of any health care reform in order to keep the right-wing radicals happy and clear of conscience. In the long run, it really won't matter anyway because there will always be a "back door" way of getting funding for abortion. That's just the reality.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  29. Terry, Chandler AZ

    For several years the Supreme Court has voted to continue a womans right to have an abortion. Until the Supreme Court reverses ( and I hope it never does) it's opinion on the constitutionality of a woman's right to choose, abortion inclusion any any health plan should and must be included.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  30. gerry luimes

    Jack,it is irrevocibly difficult to make a"just" decision on this subject. No matter what will be the outcome,the decisionmakers will be damned when they do, and damned when they they don't.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  31. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    Vasectomies, (& all other forms of birth control), hysterectomies, abortions, & all health issues MUST BE COVERED by health insurance, as in the rest of the civilized world. That's what insurance is for; full coverage for all, not the rationing we have with our current system, with insurance companies picking & choosing which procedures, if any, they will allow us to have. (This is the only Country in the world where health insurance companies make a profit, so it's no wo that greed & corruption are rife.) With the Public Option, no one will be turned away. OF COURSE, health insurance should pay for abortions. Doctors perform them, so health insurance must pay for them. Why does America insist on regressing to the Dark Ages? What next, witch burnings?

    October 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  32. Jimmy in Houston

    We all know that the healthcare bill will cover abortions, but we want Obama to be honest and open about it. I personally don't care either way, but feel that society is out of control and too many people use abortions as birth control.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  33. Mary Jo from Pittsburgh

    Health care reform shouldn't "handle it'. This medical procedure is legal and between a woman and her doctor and her choice of god. There is nothing that should be said about it in the bill.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  34. JD In NH

    Since abortion is legal, it would seem fair to have abortions covered if the procedure was done to save the life of the mother. I sure wish the opponents of a woman's right to choose cared as much about us "old embryos" who are living and breathing and cannot get medical care as they do nonviable fertilized eggs.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  35. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    There are a number of medical procedures that have little to do with Health Care and are termed elective surgery. While we are attempting to insure all Americans can receive care that is not optional, we need to make some difficult decision. As a liberal I recognize a woman’s right to choose, but as a consumer and taxpayer I have no problem with saying that these choices come with a price tag. No elective medical procedures should be covered by either tax money or through the additional cost to us all if included in private health insurance.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  36. Sue From Idaho

    With common sense and empathy.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  37. Steve Bruner

    Copy the current law: Only in case of raper, incest, or medical necessity. How hard can that be? Unless you are just looking for an excuse not be be for health care reform..

    October 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  38. Jack From West Virginia

    By the souds of all of this health care reform the average American will not have the coverage he currently has and if there are those out there with great benifits they will lose them and we all will have the same coverage, no one getting more than the next person, wow what does that sound like to you Jack, recall your WWII history? Ronald Reagan was quoted as saying once the government takes over health care it's the first step towards socialism. I have been around the world and have seen this coverage, ask someone in Canada what they think of their heath care system, better yet ask them how much they pay in taxes for their benifits. America needs healthcare reform no doubt about it. However when the government steps in like they have in so many issues in the past they have really screwed things up. Now we have to ask do we really want the government to tell us who we can see for a doctor and when and if we can have that operation we need to live. Until the government can explain to us how this united health care is going to work abortion is going to take a back seat. Bettere question should be when they come up with a united health care system are thos in office going to have the same health care as the normal citzen? You know the answer to this don't you Jack. Keep the government out of private lives.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  39. Maria

    Federal dollars should be included to pay for abortions when the mother's health is in peril, in the case of incest or rape (including spousal rape), no matter the age of the woman or girl. In 1968, if PA had not allowed abortion for rape(w/parent or gaurdian consent)at 18 II would have had to carry a child conceived in violence, terror, and trauma.. Or I'd have found the closest coat hanger.


    October 28, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  40. Raoul New Orleans, La

    Its amazing how pro-life conservatives who oppose health care reform support a health insurance cartel which covers abortions. Just goes to show how corrupting money is in our Congressional campaigns. Conservatives have been disingenuous about tax cuts, Iraq, death panels, the President's citizenship, and now this. When will America learn? The Republican Party has been hijacked by evil doers!

    October 28, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  41. perry jones

    The so called 46 % is covered by there insurance this so called change is not supposed to replace there insurance so there should be no problem with the federal government not covering the destruction of life. They have a choice to keep there coverage or not.

    Perry Jones
    Council Bluffs Ia.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  42. Karen, TN

    Same as any other medical procedure, Jack. Safely and privately.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  43. frankie

    Saying that "no federal funds will be used to fund abortions" IS enough, it is the law. The word "option" means that no one would be forced to use public option health insurance. Everyone forgets that one main point of all this reform is for the cost of all health insurance to go down whether it be Medicare or Medicaid or military or a public option, OR private health insurance. I wish people would stop trying to score political points off of the unborn.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  44. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    Jack, Congress should stop dithering away its time and trying to confuse the people by creating non-existent concerns with what essentially are already resolved issues. Unless Congress repeals, or the Supreme Court overthrows the existing law, just incorporate these decades old words from the 1976 Hyde Amendment): “The [2009 HCR Act] prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions through Health Care Reform except in cases of rape, incest, or medical necessity.” People shouldn’t kill unborn babies. And they shouldn’t allow the living to die from lack of health care either. It’s time we get other this idea that one sin is greater than another. Sin is sin is sin!

    October 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  45. Rob in NC

    I do not believe that abortions should be covered by the government bill. Most of these decisions are personal and should not be covered. Since the taxpayers will be paying for this and some do not support abortions their money shouldn't be used. Every persons opinion counts here in the US.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm |

    What issue? Tax payers should not pay for something that is self inflicted. Special circumstances such as medical reasons is acceptable.
    If you kill yourself does your life insurance reward you by paying you the benifits of your policy? I don't think so.
    The same rule should apply for abortion. Who wants to pay for someone elses irresponsibility, especially repeat offenders who have no morals?
    Until they can prove that being pregnant is a disease, let these carefree, freeloaders pay for it out of thier own pockets.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  47. Homer

    Abortion is all the Repubs think of.How to handle abortion, start by teaching the parents how to be parents to their children.Pass out birth control pills to girls and give the boys condoms.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:51 pm |

    They should handle it as a cosmetic medical issue. The majority of the people do it to benefit themsleves. While I am not against abortion, I just feel if you chose to have one, you should chose to pay for it.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  49. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Of course abortion should be covered the same way it is with any insurance plan. It should also cover birth control. Those who believe "God" has spoken to them and wants us to populate the Earth with as many humans as possible should be able to Opt Out.You'd think after 223 years people would understand and accept "Separation of Church & State".

    October 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  50. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    If the plans do not cover family planning, they should not cover erectile dysfunction. The simple solution to questions of abortion is the same now as it has always been - if you don't want one, don't get one. Medical necessity isn't always only about physical health - something many people without symptoms of mental illness forget.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  51. Karl from SF, CA

    Jack, the last I knew an abortion is a legal surgical procedure. The key word here is legal. Until we become a theocracy it’s the woman’s own conscience that she has to deal with and no one else’s business. Christian Scientists don’t believe in any surgical procedures and, so far, they aren’t trying to get all surgery removed from our coverage’s. If you object to abortions on religious grounds, don’t get one and let your money pay for someone’s appendectomy or gall bladder operation instead. It’s discrimination, but what else is new in this country?

    October 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  52. Jack Kramer in California

    Abortion is a controversial elective procedure. If the argument is over choice, then abortion seekers can pay for it without the help of the tax payer. Abortion coverage should be excluded from any federal subsidy of health care.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  53. Richard Green


    It is against the law to use federal funds to pay for abortions. It's irrelevant to the health reforms we see in front of us.
    Having said that, it's no one's darn business what a woman and her doctor decide for her treatment. And sure as heck no self righteous Congressmen or anyone else should stick their darn noses in that discussion.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  54. Michael

    They should be covered. If they are not we will just end up paying for them for 18yrs via food stamps, wellfair.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  55. Michael

    Its time to end this non-sense. Rowe V Wade has been decieded get over it and move on. And agree we dont all agree on abortion but its leagal so stop trying to force your morality on the rest of us. Remeber judge not.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  56. Lynn, Mo..

    We should have more women die since we already have a high maternal mortality rate and have lots more crack babies too. I thought Roe v Wade meant freedom of choice. I guess that's only if you can afford it.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  57. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    if the abortion is purely elective then it should be paid for by the patient. If it is being done because of rape, incest, or medical reasons then it should be covered by health insurance.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  58. James, NY

    Abortion should be covered only if it is the result of rape or sexual assault, other than that people who are against abortion should'nt have to pay for just anyone who wants to abort a child. I am for public option but against abortion.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  59. Gigi Oregon

    If you want an abortion it should be treated as an elective surgery and you pay out of pocket. To not have health care for that reason is ridiculous. Abortion is not a health care issue unless it endangers the mothers life. Then it becomes a life medical necessity.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  60. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Yes Jack people should have the right for government abortions especially if there illeagle imegrants.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  61. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Having an abortion is a very private personal decision for women who find themselves in that difficult situation. By the same token, the funding for an abortion should be the sole responsibility of the individual since it is a choice and not a public matter.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  62. Nancy, Tennessee

    If health care reform is about providing affordable health insurance to the American public, then there should not be any limitations on what is paid and what is not paid. If your doctor prescribes it, then it should be covered. If a doctor sees a woman's life in danger or her mental well-being in jeopardy from a pregnancy, then an abortion should be covered by health care. There are a lot of items that one could say a person brings on themselves and should not be covered. Is eating a sickness, should health care cover gastric by-pass or should we tell the patient to go and stop eating. The government option should be a health insurance that we pay for to cover the cost of health care. Whether the government has to assist some in paying the premiums should not influence what is covered by the policy.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  63. Dennis North Carolina

    pay for it with tax money or let that congress man pay to raise the children that are not wanted. tax payers should not have to pay for a child that is not wanted.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  64. David A Whitaker

    Jack it is not illegal to have an abortion, so why shouldn't your health care pay for it. This doen't have anything to do with what is morally right it should depend on whether it is legal.

    Martinsburg, WV

    October 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  65. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It should handle abortion the way any sane, rational doctor or patient (that is, not a fanatical religious nut case) would. If it is medically necessary, it should be covered. If it is elective, then it should be paid for by the patient.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  66. susi learn

    i don't think abortion should be funded by the government if it is used as a tool for 'birth control'.

    but i do feel it should be covered in case of rape, incest and health issues.

    for any other reason the person seeking an abortion should bear the cost.


    October 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  67. Ken in NC

    Jack, the USA is not Burger King. Everyone doesn't get to have it their way. If you have a cancer, you do not kill the entire body with radiation just to kill the cancer. Adopt the health care plan and then continue the fight for or against abortion. This is the land of the free. If you don't like it, you are always free to leave. There is Canada, Mexico, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran just to name a few places you can go to make the changes you want to see.

    I'm amazed at some of the stupid things people say and at how stupid people can sound when they don't get what they want. They need to remember that they are not the only people living in our country and under our laws.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  68. Jennifer Curry

    It is a legal medical procedure so it should be covered like any other procedure. If people don't want to have one, they dont have to have one. Remember what it was like before 1971? Women died from backstreet abortion.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  69. Marcus Greensboro, NC

    This is hilarious! Now abortion stops health care reform? Selling across state lines and tort reform were the other things? No offense, but I will be so happy when some of these old people holding things up are in the ground, because they are the holding everything up and they keep putting these idiots back in office.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  70. muhla

    Almost. The healthcare takeover should be aborted!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  71. me and mr b, oak harbor WA

    As there are no women on "welfare" because it is children receiving the benefits there will be no government funded abortions because they will be referred to as D&C.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  72. bobesherman

    Abortion should be elective surgery other than in cases of rape.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  73. Byron

    The health reform bill should stay consistent on this issue with our current policies and funding levels. One problem at a time here.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  74. Michael

    Its simple Jack they shoul follow the law.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  75. Gudrun carr

    Same Way As they handle an appendix or heart attack, it'a no one's business but the woman involved!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  76. Dale

    Nobody is suppose to be forced to take the public option so if you wan
    t an abortion keep your present plan, it's that simple!!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  77. james St. Petersburg, Florida

    Government should stay out of it. Taxpayer money should never go towards the killing of innocents. Life should never be seperated from the act of Love. No one should be forced to pay for someone else's death decision.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  78. Colleen Meegan RN MSEd MSN

    How should Health Care Reform "handle" abortion? Like any other surgery. The Pro-Egg people are loud, I will grant you. I have quite a bit of research on this, and when abortion is unavailable, the morbitiy and mortality of alive women increases significantly. If you think Eggs are so precious, fin; I think Real Women are precious, too! Get your hands off my body!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  79. Terrance

    One again it's like we paying for other peoples mistakes. If that persons abortions isn't due to rape, incest, or medical reasoning then they have to get the money there own. I'm tierd of paying for other peoples mistakes. Just pass a healthcare bill without the loop holes. It seems like congress have been engaging in this type of activity for years if they can't seem to find a way to stopthese loop holes.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  80. Ralph Sato

    Many of us would like to see abortion covered but since this is such a hot political issue, it does not look likely that health care reform could pass without nixing it. A likely topic for compromise in the interests of getting the legislation throught Congress this year.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  81. Roland-St George,UT

    I just don't follow the conservative mindset. Taxpayer dollars are being used to kill innocent Iraqi's and Afghanistanis everyday. So, what's the difference between them...and a fetus? Other than the fetus has no oil reserves to plunder.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  82. Gary

    abortion should be paid for by the women or couple that logically chooses to have an abortion, however. Women and girls who are pregnant by rape or other ways that negate thier free will should be allowed to have thier abortions paid for

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  83. Karen Stucke

    You have got to be kidding me! The same people who don't want federal money to pay for abortions are screaming about spending money on health care for the poor. Let's be real; not many RICH people have abortions. The social reasons for that may be an argument worth having, but to contest funding in the health care bill for abortion, a medical procedure, is ludicrous. I wish all the pro-lifers would put their money where their mouths are when it comes to caring for a growing number of unwanted, neglected, and infirm children born to people who SHOULD have abortions!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  84. Mary in Boston

    Abortion should be categorized as "Elective Surgery." It should be in the same category as face lifts and skin peels. It is a choice that someone makes about what they will do with their body. The government should not fund it or have any say in it.

    I am an anti-abortion Democrat, but I respect others to make their own decisions about how they feel on abortion or politics. It's not my business. But, please, don't make me pay for your elective surgery – be it a breast aumentation or an abortion.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  85. Greg

    Abortion is the law of the land. Unless that changes it should be covered. Should I as a taxpayer pay for the prenatal health care for an unwanted baby ? Then probably pay for 18 years of welfare because of some stranger's religious beliefs? Where is the right to religious freedom in this country?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  86. TR Robertson

    We're being held hostage by a Christian Taliban in the US. I pay taxes too, and I want access to health care for women that includes all procedures, including abortion if necessary. It's absurd that religion is allowed to enter into the health care discussion, especially if we're to really have separation of church and State.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  87. Jennifer

    sould not be covered...i know personaly as a tax payer i don't want my tax dollars going to abortions...that is a womans choice yes. for whatever reason she may have to get one. I know it was my choice to have implants and no one is paying for it but me. tax dollars don't cover cosmetic stuff. so it shouldn't cover abortions.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  88. Janie Heath

    Why is it that opponents of abortion have never questioned whether or not the premiums they pay voluntarily to health insurers (or that their employers pay on their behalf) are used to fund abortions?

    I would imagine that if you asked most people today whether or not their premiums support abortions they would not know.

    If they had objected in the past, private insurers would have had to deal with this situation already and it would not be an obstacle to reform.

    Abortion opponents should put their money where their mouth is and drop their private coverage if it covers abortion.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  89. Sarah

    This one is simple. Why not make it a PUBLIC OPTION? People can choose whether they want their plan to cover abortion or not. If the government is naive enough to believe that Christians will support anything that is pro-choice, they are going to have problems. The government would never require an atheist to tithe to the local church, so they should not be able to require Christians to help finance abortions.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  90. John - Illinois

    Personally I think abortions should be covered up to a certain point (ie: taxpayers shouldn't be responsible for a person's continued irresponsibility). However, if abortions were the final sticking point that could get us past the passage of the bill, I say throw it by the way-side.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  91. Eileen Workman

    Gee, I'm a conscientious objector to war, but I don't get to tell the government not to spend my tax dollars on Iraq or Afghanistan. Why then should a conscientious objector to abortion get to tell the government not to spend their money on a legal medical procedure? Whatever happened to the so-called separation between church and state?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Kevin-NH

    The gov't controls the health care, Americans are paying for it, if a women wants their premium to cover abortion then it should be their choice. Why in god's name are people trying to make decisions for other people when it's not their life, just because you don't like it doesn't mean you can force your beliefs on the rest of us.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  93. chris

    I think government needs to keeps its nose out of the insurace business , especially things like abortion.It's private

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  94. Ann Burgess

    Is this only the tip of a much larger iceberg? Today, its abortion, tomorrow it could be anything that once was only a matter between you and your physician. When will Congress learn that you cannot legislate morality. If we could there would be no question of whether or not the onlookers of the gang rape in California were charged with criminal activity.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  95. Doug Scott

    Abortion is not "healthcare." it neither cures nor prevents any disease. Unless, of course, Democrats want to argue that pregnancy is a disease, which Planned Parenthood has argued. My mother had the "disease," but it was "cured" by childbirth, not killing.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  96. AshleyC

    The public option should cover abortion. It is a medical operation that is legal, opponents need to face that and not attempt to limit it every way they can. If a woman does not want to have a child we should support that with free birth control, and by financially supporting the abortion–not everyone has these archaic moral objections. Further, it is economically advantageous to an insurance co. for a woman to have an abortion than to pay the costs of a birth.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  97. Seana

    Abortion is a legal medical procedure. Of course it should be covered by health insurance. I thought conservatives wanted the government out of individual lives? Or does that only count when it comes to their taxes?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Eileen Prince

    Here's my "modest proposal.". Don't cover abortion itself but allow women who are injured by botched ones to be treated on an emergency basis. Will that satisfy those who want to turn back the clock?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  99. gary good

    if a woman has the right to an abortion, then its our rights as tax payers to have her pay for it herself

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  100. David

    Blanket coverage from federal health care is best bet. Its still a state's right to deny the abortion anyway.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  101. Marjorie Wright

    Dear Jack:
    The Republicans use Abortion as a wedge issue every time. They scream about getting government out of Health Reform. Leave the issue of abortion where it belongs – between a woman and her physician.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  102. Tom

    Whenever the Republicans open their mouths these days, they contradict their own arguments. In the case of Health Care Reform, they argue that existing laws on abortion that absolutely ban federal funds for abortions are not enough, and new laws need to be added to cover this issue, that is already covered. In the case of the Hate Crimes amendment to the defense bill, they argue that it makes no sense to add groups to the existing Hate Crimes laws, because there are already laws against these crimes? Who should we believe? Should we believe the Republicans or should we believe the Republicans? Even the Republicans don't know the answer to that question. My father always told me, that there were three options in everything you do... 1) Lead 2) Follow 3) Get out of the way. Message to Republicans: As you seem incapable of doing number 1 or number 2, please select option 3 and get out of the way!

    Tom – Indiana

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  103. Joan

    I'm all for disallowing abortion if they also tell men that viagra (& such other drugs) will not be covered. Is that a medical necessity, really? Might cut down on some of those abortions.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  104. Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    I am so tired of a bunch of men telling women what they can or can't do with their bodies. When men are willing to chop of certain parts so they don't get women pregnant then maybe they can have a say... then again not even then. Women are already treated unfairly by insurance companies based solely on gender issues that only apply to women. I bet if men had to squeeze a watermellon out of their rectal area they would think a little differently. Abortion is legal and should be covered period.

    Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  105. Carol

    Abortion should be covered as a part of womens health care.If abortion is banned how do we know that our left arm may be left out?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  106. Jeff crocket in New Britain, Ct

    The U.S. government has no right to handle abortion or healthcare for that matter! This is all unconstitutional!! Period!!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  107. Dione Smith

    I see nothing wrong with funding abortion. It is a necessary procedure in many cases and as long as we fund all the creative methods of getting pregnant, why not this. We have envetro furtilization, suragatte mothers, embryo implantation, etc. all of which are certainly not natural so why not abortion? In the case of a damaged fetus, this would be far more humane than allow it to be born and live a horrible life.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  108. donna sexton

    I think abortion should not be paid for by our tax dollars, neither should the slaughter of our other children, you know the ones that die in forgien wars, along with the slaughter of civialian children, just so Halaburten can make more money with more of our tax dollars for more war toys.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  109. Chad from Los Angeles

    My wife just had our first child, and in the process wrapped up about $30,000 in health costs, and that was for a normal delivery and standard 48 hour hospital stay.

    I see why so many prefer abortion of their child, as opposed to abortion of their bank account.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  110. Chip

    It is one thing for the government to make allowances for the choices of an indavidual, it is an entirely different matter to ask unwilling constituants to pay for medical procedures they are morally opposed to by methods of importunement

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  111. Melissa

    I think that would be a great idea to stop the abortion expenses since it's not our fault that women these days decide not to use any type of birth control. There's millions of ways to protect yourself and women who choose to be stupid and don't want to deal during pregnancy are just a bunch of retards. Like it was mention earlier, they should just use it for women who were raped since that accident was unexpected. Save tax payer money for better things for example, like the adoption/homeless kids.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  112. Mike in Mississippi

    Jack,, what health care reform?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  113. Sharon from Flower Mound Tx

    Jack, I am and always have been pro-choice. That is my political position, not the decision I may make for myself if faced with that dilemma. I don't see how we can as a society fund abortion in any way. I would like to see abortions remain legal and safe, but that doesn't mean that anyone should be paying for it other than the women who make that choice.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  114. Jeff in Houston, Texas

    Cover it completely. Just as it should cover birth control on demand. No woman WANTS an abortion. It is a private, extremely painful decision made between a woman and her doctor. If the Righteous Repubs do not want anyone coming between a patient and a doctor, then of course, they will see the reasoning behind this conclusion. Otherwise, I guess they would just be . . . hypocrites?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  115. Mark Thurmann ELKO,NV

    As an Underwriter for a Major Health care Insurance Company Provider.
    From a family of Underwriters for over 150 years.
    I know the only Health care Reform that will work, is Deregulation of
    Insurance, and Tax exemptions on the Industry,
    Government should not be in ANY Health care systems.
    Allow us to Oversea social security, Medicare, Medicaid, VA,
    and Indian health systems.
    with total deregulations.
    then Indemnify us from ANY Lawsuit, and watch the costs to go down.
    Allow the Free market, if it is free from the Tax burdens solve this
    Let the Government regulate hockey, and soccer if it needs something
    to Govern.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  116. Joel Zwack

    Federal funds (taxpayer funds) for abortion? It might just the straw that breaks the health care camel's back. Even Obama promised that his healthg care plan would not include abortion funding, but the abortion industry hates to lose the big bucks that would come with a new source of abortion funding.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  117. Chuck - North Dakota

    Jack it is a non-issue. There are not that many abortions being done. The insurance companies don't consider it a major problem. It will be an inconvienence to those women who don't have insurance but it is not something that effects the Greater Good. In the interest of the Separation of Church and State, leave abortion money out of Health Care Reform to placate the Religionists.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  118. Bonnie Parker-Duke

    Jack, where do these pro-lifers get off telling me how my tax dollars can be spent? I don't want one blessed cent of my tax dollars spent on a school that teaches creationism and calls it science but they're not proving to me that my taxes aren't being used that way. Maybe we should get to designate on our tax forms whether our tax dollars can help out some poor woman whose life is at risk or who cannot afford to feed another mouth or who was raped get an abortion. While we're at it maybe we could check or not check a box as to whether our tax dollars can be spent on teaching pseudo-science or as we call it here non-science.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  119. Robert

    Jack, bottom line on abortion: The procedure is legal, by order of the Supreme Court, and therefore should be, and is, covered by your typical health insurance. Unfortunately, the legal murder at the beginning of life is only a short step away from the legal murder, euthanasia, at the end of life. Before those government rascals are finished massaging the "health care" bill, surely we will also have the latter.

    Baton Rouge, LA

    October 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  120. Duane in PA

    It should not handle abortions.If abortions were free why pay for protection.You can still buy a condom made in the U.S.A.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  121. DawnL,CA

    I'm pro-choice. However,I believe abortion should be left out of the heathcare bill. What goes on between a doctor & his patient should not be anyones business. If abortion is in the bill, a bill will never be passed. Something might be in the bill for the health of the mother,rape or incest. One thing at a time. Future bills might include abortion, depending on the mood of the country. We don't have the time to have an all out war over this issue. We need health care NOW.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  122. Fran Catalano

    I'm so tired of the abortion issue. While I'm not taking either side of the debate, I want to point out that the living lives in this country aren't respected enough to be provided with basic human rights of health care, employment, etc. Why the heck are unborn lives so much more respected?

    Moreover, It doesn't matter which side you're on, whether republican or democrat, abortions are legal and will take place regardless. So, it shouldn't be a voting agenda whatsoever.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  123. Annie, Atlanta

    Abortions are legal medical procedures, and should be covered under insurance, period.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  124. Mary Bellevue, WA


    For those of us who consider abortion the taking of innocent life it does not make sense to have this included in a Health Care Bill.
    Abortion should be excluded as it has previously and health care workers should also be able to follow their conscience re participation in abortion procedures.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  125. Al C.

    Abortion should not be covered, unless it's in the cases of rape, incest, or medical necessity.
    The issue here isn't one over right-to-life; the issue is how our educational system promotes an abstinence-only education that completely omits contraceptive use.
    It's the 21st century. People will have premarital sex. It's going to happen. Stopping it is like going up against a racing locomotive.

    This type of preventive education will not be a catch-all, but it will prevent many people from every having to face the horrifying dilemma of whether or not to terminate the baby. That said, there is a risk, albeit an extremely small one, when contraceptives are used correctly, In that case, one must be able to own up to that responsibility.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  126. suzy

    Another question that should be considered within this conversation is birth control coverage, which insurance companies do not cover. It is just third world of our government to take away a woman's rights to the point that we are imprisoned by the fact we give birth...interesting....

    October 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  127. Jerry

    Jack I'll tell you how, Leave it the way it is,They will never come up with a plan as good as we got right now, they won't even be close, and what were going to get we will regret. Congress can't do anything right, they are always a day late and a dollar short. Leave it alone America cannot handle this, just less than a year from a almost financial collapsed of our Financial system. Congress wants to spend over a trillion dollars, look how they got down on the banks for bonuses less than a year after the collapse, and look at what congress is doing. How stupid are we. Why can't we wait until are wars are done and our financial house is in order? Jerry / Iowa

    October 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  128. Shirley Mesquite

    I think abortions should be paid for if the person is in a critical life threatening situation or has been violated for whatever reason. I don't think we should just say no abortions allowed in the health care plan at all. Why is everyone trying to tell everyone else what they should do. To each his own. We need to use common sense about this issue.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  129. Joe

    Our tax dollars should NOT pay for abortion, even in health care reform.

    If people want an abortion, I'm sure some private plan will offer a "supplemental abortion benefit."

    I know people who are for health care reform, but against abortion. If health care reform pays for abortion there will be a mass revolt/backlash.

    Most women are against abortion and would not want their tax dollars paying for one.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  130. Sandra - New Hampshire

    Hi Jack, Abortions should not be part of this reform!! Only in the case in which the mothers health is in danger/death, rape or incest. Should individuals choose to have unprotected sex, they should be responsible and pay as an out of pocket expense - Over and above coverage!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  131. Daniel

    What about no health care money to purchase viagra. We all have beliefs that could block passing of health care to save lives. I become worried when people attempt to legislate religious belief. Lets live that to God and we focus on how to make life comfortable each other for the short time we spend on the earth. That should be the focus of health care.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  132. Cathy Neal

    Abortion services are just part of gynecological coverage provided by most insurance companies and should be part of any healthcare catering to women. Abortion would never be an issue if men could have them but the primary reason for even having health insurance.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  133. Vince Ponder

    This is crazy. One of the problems that we have in this country is that we give partial support to people. Abortion is legal! It should be funded. A man and woman who cannot afford an abortion should have acess to the procedure. This is not a Theocracy. I am SO INCREDIBLY FED UP with the religious right and the influence of religious belief on national and global politics. There all dillusional. Lets evolve already! Los Angeles

    October 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  134. Thomas Paine

    The same people that oppose abortion rally against the social and economic issues that surround exponential population growth and unfit parents. Society as a whole, the parent and – most importantly – the undeveloped child, which most would compare to sperm itself rather than a child, all benefit from abortion.

    The issue really must be transcended with technology, as has been done with almost everything we depend on in society. Vasectomy means No Accidents. Adult Stem Cells means both Vasectomy Reversal and/or Sperm from your Hair Follicle for Artificial Insemination. This technological advancement ends the debate by ending the need for any abortions; and it means parents must be well prepared financially and consciously to take the steps necessary of intentionally producing a child.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  135. malo aa

    Jack…abortion should be yanked out of the health care reform debate. Inclusion of Federal funding of abortion in the final bill will be tantamount to the infamous Palin’s death panel. Yes the death panel for the future American generation.
    Houston Tx

    October 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  136. Rosalee Cotton

    I have two observations: first, although I do not believe in abortion, I think our congressmen are wrong on this issue. Paying for an abortion is a lot less expensive than providing welfare for a child through their adult years; second, perhaps our congressmen should give up their cadillac healthcare benefits and live like the majority of American with little to none.

    Thank you for your daily insights. We greatly enjoy your show.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  137. steffan

    Let me get this straight. It costs thousands to have a baby and to keep a baby healthy until it is 18 years of age. Many of those having babies can't afford the "choice" to have children, so I and my wife who "chose" not to have children have to pay for people to have children instead of the abortion of an unaffordable and unwanted child. If it is about tax money, abortion is cheaper.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  138. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    If gay people can get government health care then the question of human morals goes out the window for abortions wheres the moral stats from religion on that.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  139. Dot from MN

    When this country needs healthcare reform so badly and many people do not have any way to pay for the healthcare they need, it is amazing that people would be so selfish to say they will not vote for reform unless one little part that they are concerned about is stricken from the reform or added to the reform bill . I am sure they believe they are right, but other people believe they also are right with an opposite view. Please all get together and vote in reform. If there are some areas that will need tweaking, that can be done later.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  140. Joe

    Orange City, Florida

    Our tax dollars should NOT pay for abortion, even in health care reform.

    If people want an abortion, I'm sure some private plan will offer a "supplemental abortion benefit."

    I know people who are for health care reform, but against abortion. If health care reform pays for abortion there will be a mass revolt/backlash.

    Most women are against abortion and would not want their tax dollars paying for one.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  141. Paul Willson

    Abortions should only paid for by government if the life of the mother is in danger, rape or incest. If someone becomes pregnant and casually decides to abort that child well I have little sympathy . Many women go for single parent status or place the child for adoption.
    As I am an adoptee I am biased . But I never was able to thank my parents for caring for me and my birth mother for placing me for adoption.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  142. Pamela holt

    Foley,al. No death panels for senior citizens and not death panels for the unborn baby

    October 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  143. Liz H.

    Hi Jack,

    If there was ever a need to reiterate the separation between church and state, it is now. As long as abortion is a legal surgical procedure, it should be included in health care policies. A person's religious beliefs have no place in the middle of the debate on what will be included when congress finally gets its act together and presents a doable health care plan we can live with.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  144. David in Raleigh, NC

    It's simple. As Obama said, no federal dollars should fund abortion.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  145. Will from San Jose, CA

    The mail system is a good analogy for the future of the medical system. The US post office offers a basic service to everyone that will send your package where you need it to go. If you want something special, like overnight delivery you pay a specialty service.

    We should do the same thing with medical care. A basic level of service that covers the necessities of all citizens, and then specialist insurance companies that people can choose to purchase, that covers any elective care.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  146. Paul Kosinski

    Abortion is still leagal so there fore should be covered.
    But that isn't the real question is why when I had a broken back from surving in the U.S. Army, them many years later when I was in my late 40's I had a heart attack and rquired quad bypas the insurance company said they were going pay. but then after I was recoving they side they would not pay because I had a pre exciting condition which had nothing to do with my heart!!!!!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  147. Eleanor

    Make the religions and organizations that are anti-abortion pay taxes like the rest of us if they want to stick their noses into trying to overturn our laws.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  148. Randi Dennis


    While this is a double edged sword as far as the issues on both ends, abortion coverage should be included in any new public healthcare plan.

    For one it is still taught as a procedure in medical school and that is unlikely to change. Second, in spite of how this was sold to the public over the past 40+ years, it is still an issue bet a woman and her doctor and she should be able to make the decision as to what she wants to do.

    Pursuant to the above though, it should be noted that we need to change the image of abortion as being an 'easy out' for those who did not use any birth control. And this is particularly try of the younger generation...as well as mine. Perhaps it is the parent in me coming out here, but we should not be making this as easy to get as let's say a new set of tires for the SUV or batteries for the Walkman, due to the consequences of same in a medical vein.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  149. Chad from Los Angeles

    Everyone agrees abortion should not be a form of birth control. But those fiscally inept politicians don't realize how much it costs the gov't to raise a child born into poverty.

    Please get a clue, and stop letting religion cloud common sense!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  150. Steven

    Since abortions have been legal in the United States for two generations they should not figure in the health care debate. After all, if Jehova's Witnesses don't want a blood transfusion they don't have to have one, but that shouldn't prevent your parents or mine from receiving one and having it covered by Medicare. I have to pay for lots of things I either don't personally use or, as in the case of wars, to which I am morally opposed.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  151. Kevin

    The abortion debate isn't going to be resolved any time soon, but meaningful health care funding reform is within our grasp. I suggest both sides of the abortion debate declare health-care funding reform to be off-limits. After it's passed, we can return to our usual squabbling. Meanwhile, safeguards such as the Hyde Amendment still apply.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  152. ben stockton, calif

    a sure way to eliminate the cost for abortion is to let the women pay it themselves. if they weigh this cost after the first time they will think seriously about having their tubes tied and no more kids .. we have too many people in the world and a lot of the kids are going hungry and without medical aid..the religious factor has nothin to do with it. this god of theirs does not feed or cure the needy.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  153. Ricardo - Cypress, TX

    If some women want to kill their own children they better not count on our tax money to pay for those atrocities. Their choice their money, not ours.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  154. suzy

    If those that are against a woman's rights to choose her destiny want to save the unborn, why aren't they saving children that are already born and live in such deep poverty? Where are the outreach programs? Lots of babies in Africa. Why don't you adopt them? Are any of these anti-choice people setting up funding for 18 years worth of child rearing?

    October 28, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  155. fred doofenshmirtz

    Why don't they cover eyes before any talk about elective procedures such as abortion? Electives should be on you, not me.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  156. Leslie

    The last time I looked abortion was legal in this country. With that being said I do not advocate abortion but it is a womans right to have one. So how should it should be handeled well I say that for all of those who beleive that it should not be apart of the HCFB if it is not we will still have un wanted children and a high rate of teenage pregnanices.I do not think that any woman intends to get pregnant just to have a abortion. When will we learn that if we do not start dis spelling the sexual fears of the past generations we will always be divided on this issue. It is time we stop acting like sexually active un educated people do not have sex and mistakes happen. Do we say that a person cannot have car insurance because they had an car accident? NO! So we should allow a woman to have a abortion because they made a mistake. After all that it is the right thing to do.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  157. Ron Temecula


    I think a health care plan should only cover an abortion if the mothers life is being compromised by the pregnency.

    Ron K. Temecula, Ca

    October 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  158. Roger Zoeller

    Jack , IT SHOULDN'T !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  159. Gail, Plano,Texas

    It's the same old song, Jack, different chorus. Again with the smoke and mirrors because we are getting closer to health care reform. Now it's back to that old song, Abortion. I have never had to make that choice. However, my grandmother did many years ago. She and her twins died as the result of a botched illegal abortion. Is this what those that advocate against legal abortions want? Time for Congress to butt out of people's business and get on with the affairs of the nation!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  160. betty mincey

    On abortion, the women should go to the man that got them in that situation and make them pay for it. The tax payer didn't do it, they did.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  161. Esther Ohio

    I think we need to stop religion from dictating what women can or can not do in this country. This is a free society, roe Vs Wade passed in the supreme court 1/23/1973. first amendment say church and state are separate so let them just shut up if they want to keep their not for profit status. They pay no Taxes but they work up the "people" that try to act as if they are "Christians" They go to clinics and kill the doctors and women who are looking for abortions. They are american terrorist. I had an abortion I would have been a welfare mother back in 1976, 19 years old no education back then it cost 100 dollars. I went to college, joined the Navy and I have no regrets. I have no children with the cost to raise one these days makes better sense to stay without them. I watch my friends who had children out of wedlock as I did and they made the other choice to go on welfare and raise those kids they regret it cause they have no life, no money and that's not what they dreamed of. If I can pay taxes so a man can get treated for ED than it is my right as a woman to have this. No man tells me what I can or can not do and that includes Jesus, and he is not even in an elected office.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  162. Jose Oueste

    Wrong again Cafferty. There's no way a Democratic majority is going to make abortion more difficult for women.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  163. Elliot from Portland, OR

    Jack, the 800 pound Guerrilla in the room in the health care debate isn't abortion, it's the obesity rate in this country. Because insurance companies will be required to cover all people, regardless of health, they will have an incentive to encourage healthy eating and exercise.

    And abortion should be covered if mother's health is in danger, or in the event of a rape.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  164. jb

    I just love the way that some people are so concerned about the use of their tax dollars for abortion and yet have no reservations when it comes to the use of those same monies for WAR and any and all of the death, destruction and ugliness associated therewith. They can't deal with the idea of funding the one "abomination", but more than willingly will support a more intense, elaborate and extensive version of the same, all in the name of ideological freedom and perceived enhanced security.
    Can you say hypocrisy? These holier-than-thou types should perhaps reflect and reconsider ...

    October 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  165. starleo14672

    The congress shouldn't handle it, the States should, this topic that the republicans want to shout about is a ploy to get all the people to protest abortion. I feel it is a woman's right to choose and these guys need to stay out of iot and let the states make the rules about abortion

    October 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  166. Aglaia Stalb

    By any and all possible means, the new health bill must include funds for abortions for a one-time cost to the taxpayer or we the people of this country will, in many cases, be supporting both mother and child for the rest of their life on welfare. Northfield, Vermont

    October 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  167. Lennie Mullen

    Jack, the Republicans only care about life until the moment of birth, and then you are on your own baby.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  168. MARK

    In a country where criminals and illeagal alliens have more rights than the tax paying, voting citizens, it is amazing that a person's God given right to choose what is best is being debated. Who are these people? God to say you can't.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  169. Tiffany Marks

    I agree, men should stay out of this. Polls show that women are much more antiabortion than men. The original feminists (Susan B. Anthony, et.al.) were strongly antiabortion. And it was 7 men who made abortion legal in the first place. Oops!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  170. Tom Chapman, Newark, DE

    I'm too busy thinking about how great it would be to have insurance in the first place !!

    But, the same people (Conservatives) who want a government ban on insurance coverage for an abortion, which is a legal medical procedure, turn around and demagogue about government bureaucrats making medical decisions and getting between the patient and their doctor.

    That's a pretty obvious inconsistency.

    The idea that taxpayers shouldn't pay for insurance that covers medical services they don't support is fundamentally incompatible with the very concept of insurance. If every interest group wields veto power over the medical care insurance can cover, insurance simply can't work.

    Maybe in the long term, my stock in "Trojaneze" might go up !!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  171. Joan

    Regarding Melissa's comment. Are you aware that most insurance covers the cost of a man's Viagra et al, but not the cost of a woman's birth control pills? How does that help the situation of unwanted pregnancies? Many low income women cannot afford contraception or abortions for that matter. Our insurance companies are so screwy. Our representatives in DC need to work on reform of the insurance companies, not changing womens right to abortions. Half of those guys are probably taking viagra and I'll bet more than one of their daughters or wives have had an abortion. Guess you have to be wealthy to practice birth control in this country. It's a shame.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  172. D Rancourt

    The 1976 Hyde Amendment already prohibits the use of Federal Medicaid Funds to pay for elective abortions. If Hyde really needs to be extended to specify that NO Federal Healthcare programs may support elective abortion coverage, so be it.

    'No Federal Funds' is the current law, and should not be debated at this point in the Healthcare reform effort. Nor should any attention-grabbing, fear-mongering 'change the bill' rhetoric be necessary.

    I am sure that there are a plethora of coverages that private insurance industry actuarial tables will support, in order to 'add value' to their product offerings (acupuncture? liposuction?), but that does not mean that the 'public option' plan needs to have the same offerings.

    Part of competition is for the consumer to find where the added values are, and decide if those values are appealing enough to pay for. What a made-up distraction it is to say 'Abortion' in a crowded health reform theater!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  173. Mike Lane

    I read this bumper sticker on the website of Life Decisions International: "Weren't slaveholders just 'pro-choice,' too?" Argue "choice" all you like, but I refuse to pay for it.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  174. Bill in PA

    Inject the abortion issue and the Corporate owners of the country have found their poison pill.
    The abortion issue will not be solved any sooner than some of the other long lasting differences: crusaders for Christianity vs Holy Jehadists for Islam.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  175. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Coverage for abortion should remain the same. This insurance reform is not about abortion–or it shouldn't be.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  176. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    The thing is, these are options people will be buying in to. Legislating the coverage on shaky moral grounds is no place to begin the process. No restrictions / tampering with healthcare choices that should be made between a doctor and patient.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  177. Missy

    You can actually hear the hysteria in some of these comments. People, the issue has nothing to do with the pro-choice/pro-life debate. It has nothing to do with religion. No one is talking about reversing Roe vs. Wade. The issue is simply this: in attempting to maximize taxpayer health care dollars, where do we draw the line? Abortion is a voluntary procedure, just like using birth control to prevent the pregnancy is voluntary. In most rape cases, the morning after pill is provided, so abortion is not an issue there. If we pay for one woman's elective abortion, do we pay for another woman's breast enhancement? What if the woman needed the enhancement because she lost a breast to cancer? The line has to be drawn somewhere. Either elective procedures are covered or they are not.

    And Gail, in Plano Texas - nice attempt to pull on the heartstrings, but we're not talking about making abortion illegal. If your grandmother did die in a botched abortion, I'm sorry to hear that, but including the twins ... well, weren't they doomed anyway the day your grandmother sought the abortion? Wasn't their death exactly what your grandmother was trying to achieve? And managing taxpayer money IS the job of Congress - it's what we taxpayers elect them to do. They represent us and need direction as to how our tax dollars should be spent or not spent. Health care will not be paid for from an endless well of money - there are real, hardworking people on the end of that well and they should have some say in how their tax dollars are spent.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  178. william fitzwater

    no .
    However I feel women should be able to purchase or obtain insurance ( or to do the procedure on their own) that allows women the right to choose but the Government should not pay for abortion. In the case of rape incest or women health or viability of the unborn child that is a different provisions should be made for this if this is verified .

    This is a gray area and will always be used as litmus test.
    I am a Democrat and my Church uses this issue all the time to polarize its flock. When in reality it is a intense personal decision that should not be exploited or used . I sick of both side playing this game.

    I have sadly witnessed people manipulating this situation for their own sordid gains.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  179. Eric, rural NY

    Jack, all that does is alienate those without money. Most often it is the least wealthy that benefit the most from proper family planning. Religion aside (as it should be with government), its the right thing to do. My faith, in spite of my faith, and personal opinion on the matter; I should not have the right to interfere with the lives of others, simply because they do not agree with me. For those of the faith out there: Stop casting stones.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  180. Colleen Omaha Ne

    Plain and simple. In insurance terms, it should be noncovered as all elective procedures currently are.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:58 pm |