October 2, 2009
You knew it was coming, didn't you? Despite assurances from the Obama administration that the federal government would not pay for abortions under its health care reform proposals, the Senate Finance Committee rejected a Republican proposal to tighten restrictions. The vote was largely along party lines, though Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota voted for the restrictions, while Maine Republican senator Olympia Snow voted against them.
The potential is now strong for language in whatever bill emerges to force insurance companies to pay for abortion. If a public option manages to be approved, it may require the federal government to include abortion among the so-called "services."
If President Obama wanted to make good on his pledge to make abortions "rare," this would be an ideal moment to advance that agenda. But, of course, he doesn't mean it. Liberal Democrats want abortions for any reason and they think even pro-life taxpayers and businesses should be forced to pay for them. The debate isn't over yet, but it's getting close.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.