A GOP-backed House bill aimed at limiting federal funding of abortions used the phrase 'forcible rape,' suggesting that abortions for other kinds of rape would not be covered. Critics called it an attempt to redefine rape, and the GOP relented. But the bill is still controversial.
The issue of federal funding for abortions -- indeed abortion itself -- can't be ignored. This divisive issue needs legislative solutions, not more court decisions.
The Senate defeated the anti-abortion Nelson amendment Tuesday. But President Obama has not made abortion rights a priority in healthcare reform, so the issue remains in play.
Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska says he will vote down the healthcare bill if it does not outlaw use of federal dollars for abortion services. He also wants to rein in the scope of a public option.
Two moderate Senate Democrats are signaling that they will not support the stringent anti-abortion measures that made it into the House healthcare reform bill as the so-called Stupak amendment.
Rep. Bart Stupak wants to make sure no public healthcare funds pay for abortions – and he says he has the votes to block the House bill. Abortion-rights activists seek to keep healthcare reform bills 'abortion neutral.'
Debate is raging over whether Congress is expanding abortion access at taxpayer expense. It threatens to consume health reform efforts this fall.