U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), head of the Pro-Choice Congressional Caucus, praised the Senate health care bill released last night for its common sense approach to abortion coverage in health reform:
“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate has maintained current law when
addressing the abortion issue. By adopting a common-sense abortion
provision, the U.S. Senate ensures that no federal funds will be spent
on abortion coverage while not further restricting a woman’s right to
choose. The health care bill is about providing access to quality
health care to over 36 million Americans. I encourage the U.S. Senate
to work towards producing a bill that works for everyone.”
Rep. DeGette collected over forty of her House colleagues signatures on a petition that warned they would not vote for health care reform legislation that includes the Stupak Amendment. DeGette also says, in an interview with Brian Beutler at TPM, that many of the anti-choice House Democrats who voted for Stupak didn’t understand the full impact Stupak would have on abortion coverage:
DeGette says she’s spoken in private to many of the pro-life Democrats
who voted for the Stupak amendment, some of whom have acknowledged that
they didn’t realize what they were voting for.
"I will say that I have spoken privately with several pro-life
members about the Stupak amendment, and they acknowledged that the
Stupak amendment goes far beyond where they thought it did," she told
Now that the Senate bill has been released, preserving private abortion coverage while maintaining the status quo in regards to federal funds for abortion, what are the prospects for what abortion coverage will look like in a final health care reform bill?
On Tuesday, DeGette told The Atlantic, "We’re still willing to talk about language…If there’s language that can augment or supplant or
replace the Capps amendment, that can have the effect of preserving the
status quo, then we would accept that."