Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
CNN reported yesterday that the Senate Finance Committee, which is negotiating the Senate version of the health-care reform bill, is considering the inclusion of language specifying that the provisions of the bill are prohibited from funding abortion services.
The House version of the bill, according to pro-life analysts, is drafted in a manner that will allow funding of abortion services to be mandated.
CNN quoted Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., one of the six bipartisan negotiators on the committee who are charged with trying to reach a compromise over disputed elements of the health-care reform plan. The group, which is headed by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., met Monday afternoon to discuss how to resolve these issues.
Another of the Finance Committee negotiators, Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, said the afternoon meeting also considered a provision to specifically prohibit any provisions in the health care proposal from funding abortion.
He said existing law that would apply to a health care bill prohibits federal funding of abortion, but added that the Senate negotiators want the bill to eliminate any doubt on the issue.