Stabenow ‘Offended’ by Abortion Amendment
The Senate Finance Committee this morning shot down an amendment, offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), that would have explicitly prohibited federal funds from subsidizing abortion coverage under plans purchased on a new insurance marketplace, dubbed the exchange, which would be created under the committee’s health reform bill.
The Hatch amendment would have allowed women to buy abortion coverage through unsubsidized supplemental plans, called riders. Hatch said it would simply codify the so-called Hyde amendment, which already prohibits federal funding of abortions, but must be renewed each year through the appropriations process.
“That’s not asking a lot,” Hatch said. “It’s not trying to change the law.”
But that argument didn’t fly with most Democrats. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said, “As a woman, I find it offensive. This is an unprecedented restriction on people who pay for their own health insurance.”
And Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont), emphasizing that his bill already prohibits federal funding of abortions, said the Hatch amendment is “discrimination against women to have them get a rider for a private plan.”
The amendment failed 10 to 13.