Catholic group's support of health bill widens split among abortio - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

AP: Catholic group's support of health bill widens split among abortion opponents


















WASHINGTON. - A group representing Catholic hospitals is rallying behind President Barack Obama's health care bill. Support from the Catholic Health Association could help persuade anti-abortion lawmakers to provide critical votes in the House for the overhaul.

The group's chief executive, Carol Keehan, writes on the association's Web site that the legislation isn't perfect, but is "a major first step" toward covering all Americans and would make "great improvements" for millions of people.

The association's support widens a split among abortion opponents. They're divided on whether the legislation does enough to deny taxpayer money for abortion. The National Right to Life Committee and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops say it doesn't.

Related Coverage
Democratic abortion foes could block passage


(March 4, 2010)

Concerns about abortion funding still threaten to keep some House Democrats from voting for health care reform.
     
The package that's now being considered has less restrictive language on federal funding of abortion than the wording that had been approved by the House. And Bart Stupak of Michigan, the leader of anti-abortion Democrats in the House, says, "we're not going to vote for the bill with that language in there."
     
But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who, along with Stupak, appeared this morning on ABC, said the bill "does not change the status quo on abortion." She said, "There will be no federal financing of abortion."
     
One problem for the anti-abortion Democrats is that under the procedures that Democratic leaders are planning to use, the House likely would have to accept the Senate version.
     
The House version passed by a narrow five-vote margin in November. And since then, several Democrats have defected or left. The 254 who remain are also eyeing the November midterm elections.

 

 

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