Roundup: An Amendment By Any Other Name Smells Just As Bad


Sometimes you just have to wonder if you are stuck in the movie "Groundhog’s Day."  Here we are, five weeks later, with the same amendment pushed by another group of congressmen, this time, senators, over the same objections over it being a sexist amendment that only applies to and harms women, especially poor women.  

But just as Bill Murray gets a chance to make each version of the same day a little better, there are bright sides to what I can only call debate rerun.  One such highlight was democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s bright idea for who should really purchase "abortion riders":

Sen. Mikulski, visibly angry with the amendment, said the very idea of having to purchase a rider for abortion coverage was not only demonizing but insulting to women.  She called the language discriminatory and said no woman ever plans on having an abortion.  "How about letting men buy an abortion rider for the women they get pregnant," Mikulski fumed.  "Maybe we’ll give them a discount," she added.

Much of the attention of the media has been on Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson for pushing the amendment, both while knowing that it likely will never pass in the senate and stating clearly that he has no interest in compromise nor really much interest in passing health care reform as it stands, anyway.  Less focus has been given to Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, who, although considered as solidly pro-life as Nelson, has made it apparent that he is not only looking for a middle ground to the debate, but that his vote on reform will not be held hostage to his pro-life leanings.  

Mr. Casey has become a central figure in talking to Democratic leadership, the White House and others about how to navigate the potential impasse.

"Sen. Casey from the start has been one of the most constructive players in the health care debate," said Jim Kessler, of the progressive think tank Third Way and a former staffer for Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

"He’s one of the few pro-life Democrats who can talk to all sides, and it puts him in a very unique position. I don’t think it’s just someone that provides cover. I think he can search for language that not every side will love, but they will support."

In the end, although the senate debate was stirred up primarily by a pro-life democratic senator, all eyes may end up on a pro-choice republican one to make the final decision:

Another factor arguing against additional abortion amendments is the fact that if Reid cannot count on Nelson to get to 60 votes, he will have to pin his hopes on Olympia Snowe, a strong supporter of abortion rights. Snowe’s main stated concern about health reform is the public option. But stronger abortion restrictions would only make her less likely to sign on to be that crucial last vote to pass reform. Which is why as of Monday night, Democratic leaders were much busier crafting a public option compromise than worrying about abortion negotiations.

The vote on the Stupak…err, pardon me, Nelson-Hatch amendment should occur this morning.

 

Mini roundup: Babies are spendy.  Sadly, conservatives aren’t sure where they should stand on that fact.

 

12/8

The
Stupak Lessons — By: Robert Costa

National Review Online

Letter:
Health bill shouldn’t restrict women’s care
The Saratogian

State
defends ban on
abortion as
women take case to Europe
Irish Independent

The Health
Reform
Abortion
Wars, Part Deux – Swampland
TIME

Reader’s
view:
Pro-life
lawmakers ignore the living who need help
Duluth News Tribune

NIH
backs embryonic stem cells to protect
abortions

The News Journal

COLUMN:
Column twisted abortion facts
Wausau Daily Herald

Catholic
group’s abortion rights ads conflict with church’s stance
Marquette Tribune

 

12/7

Casey
seeks middle ground on
abortion issue
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Abortion
kills
Northwest
Herald

Senate
to confront
abortion in
health care debate
San
Francisco Chronicle

Parallels
between
abortion,
recession unclear
Northwest
Herald

Senators:
Obama Didn’t Mention Public Option or
Abortion – The Note
ABCNews.com

The
Big Issues Bedeviling Harry Reid
NPR

Don’t
Be Fooled, Democrats Want Funding for
Abortion to Be Part of Health Care
FOXNews

Congress:
Debating Nelson’s amendment
msnbc.com

Nelson’s
Abortion
Amendment Expected Today as Health Care Debate Continues
American Spectator

The Abortion Debate:
A Primer – Prescriptions Blog
NYTimes

NY
Woman Charged with ‘Attempted
Abortion‘ After Alleged Bid to Kill Rival’s
Baby
Lifesite

Massachusetts’
would-be senators roil healthcare
abortion debate
Christian Science Monitor

A
New Alternative to the Public Option Emerges
CBS News

Fox
News Anchor: "Low-Income Babies" Will Increase Without Federal
Abortion
Huffington Post

Abortion in
Healthcare Bill Remains a Puzzle for Democrats—and GOP Opponents
U.S. News & World Report

Drew
Joseph: Boxer leads charge on abortion

San Francisco Chronicle

Are Pro-Choice
Democrats Ready to Turn Over Control of Their Bodies
Hot Air

Big
Brother Wants to Manage Low-Income Women’s
Family Planning
Change.org Women’s Rights Blog

Irish
Abortion Challenge Hearing This Week

Ms. Magazine

Africa:
USA/Africa – Aids – Yes, We Can?
AllAfrica.com

Just
one boy, 17, awaits
adoption in Richland County
Mansfield News Journal

Abortion
and the fraud of legislative precedents.
Slate

Denominations’
support of abortion in health care ‘tragic’
Town Hall

House
Omnibus Bill Could Overturn
Pro-Life Laws on Tax-Funded Abortions
LifeNews.com

Parents’
Sex Talk With Kids: Too Little Too Late
TIME

State
feels birth pangs
Las
Vegas Review – Journal

Colorado
maternity bill would require coverage for
birth control

The Colorado Independent

Boys
Miss Out on Sex Education Talks
U.S. News & World Report

The
real inconvenient truth
National Post

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  • crowepps

    By Shailagh Murray
    The Senate narrowly rejected an amendment that would have restricted abortion coverage in the pending health-care bill, leaving in question whether Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) has the 60 votes needed to move the bill toward final passage.

    The measure, which failed 54-45, addressed the scope of restrictions on coverage of abortion services for people who receive subsidies to buy insurance. The outcome was expected, but could cost the support of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who has threatened to filibuster the $848 billion bill unless abortion restrictions are tightened.

    Reid told reporters earlier Tuesday afternoon he would consider other language to allay Nelson’s concerns. “If in fact he doesn’t succeed here, we’ll try something else,” Reid said.

    The vote came amid intense final negotiations on the bill, as Reid aims to wrap up debate on amendments and begin a long procedural stand-off with Republicans — possibly extending 10 days — before the bill can come to a final vote before Christmas.

    Nelson also is participating in talks to establish an alternative to the public insurance option, and said he would continue to negotiate with Reid and his colleagues on the overall bill. “People are talking,” he said before the abortion vote. “And that’s usually a good thing.”

    By 44 Editor | December 8, 2009; 5:37 PM ET

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/12/senate_rejects_abortion_amendm.html?hpid=topnews