FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Abortion is the political hot potato that could derail health care reform entirely.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/03/art.reid.gi.jpg caption="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."]
It caused major disagreements in the House - and the Senate is now wrestling with how to address the issue. Democrat Ben Nelson says he will introduce an anti-abortion amendment... and that he won't vote for the health care bill unless this language gets added.
Nelson and others aren't satisfied with Majority Leader Harry Reid's current plan - that is to forbid including abortion coverage as a required medical benefit - but to allow a new government insurance plan to cover abortions and let private insurers that get federal money offer plans that include coverage for abortion.
In the House - a group of anti-abortion Democrats added restrictions that would forbid any health plan that gets federal money from paying for abortions - except in the case of rape, incest or to save the mother's life. Also under the House bill, a new government insurance plan couldn't offer abortions - and women would have to buy separate coverage for abortion services.
Women's rights groups are outraged - as they should be - and vow to keep similar language out of the Senate bill, with hundreds rallying on Capitol Hill yesterday to insist the bill allow coverage of abortion. Those opposed to the House's abortion language say it amounts to "the biggest rollback in a woman's right to choose in three decades."
Others point to the existing Hyde Law - which already prevents government money from being used for abortion, except for the cases mentioned earlier.
Here’s my question to you: When it comes to health care reform, how should the Senate address abortion?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Allison from Vancouver writes:
The Senate should vote to join the ranks of civilized countries like mine (and many others) who do not dictate whether a woman has a right to an abortion. Period. I chose to have one many years ago, and our health system paid for it. I thought there was supposed to be separation of Church and State, yet you people allow your fundamentalist Christians to dominate the political agenda. I find it really sad.
Chandra from Las Vegas writes:
Abortion should NOT be covered unless it is medically necessary or a pregnancy due to rape. Abortion should be treated as an elective procedure and paid for out of women’s own pockets if they want it. The focus should be on promoting birth control and decreasing the need for abortions.
Dawn from Bermuda writes:
I am a woman, a Democrat, and pro-choice. This bill needs to pass. If it takes not allowing federal funds to pay for those who choose to have an abortion for the Senate to pass the bill, then so be it. The greater good, Jack.
The bill should simply reference the Hyde amendment and proceed. There will have to be insurance plans that do not cover abortion. The cost should be slightly lower and many men will want them.
If men got pregnant, abortion would be socially-approved, legal and government-funded.
Adopt the House language word for word.
Bill from Leesburg, Florida writes:
For those who are against abortion, don't have one, throw out all your plan B pills your daughters have. Leave others alone in the hard decision they may need to make. If you don't remember back-alley services, at least look it up before you stop others.