.- Responding to those who object to abortion funding in the proposed health care bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office is sending a letter which notes his opposition to abortion except in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother. “I noted your specific comments related to health care reform and abortion. I oppose abortion except in the cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk,” the Senator’s Nov. 26 letter reads, according to CWNews.com.
Sen. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, speaks in the letter of his commitment to finding “common ground” that respects the views of those who differ.
“Please know that as we move forward, I will keep your ideas and concerns in mind. It is my hope that we can make affordable, comprehensive health care coverage a reality for so many Americans who are currently struggling to pay their medical bills, and make ends meet,” his letter continues.
The Senator, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has described himself as pro-life. Both pro-life and pro-abortion rights organizations have rated his voting record on abortion as mixed.
The health care reform bill put forward by Sen. Reid allows abortion coverage in the “public option” plan, permits federal subsidies to go to private insurance plans, and mandates that the Secretary of Health and Human Services ensure at least one insurance plan covers abortion in the proposed federally-subsidized “insurance exchange.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had proposed an amendment barring most abortion funding from the Senate health care bill but the proposal was defeated in two Senate committees.
He had told CNSNews.com on Nov. 1 that Sen. Reid knew about the amendment.
“I believe Harry Reid would be on our side on this,” Sen. Hatch had said.
Sen. Hatch has now joined Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) in leading a bipartisan effort to add Stupak Amendment language to the Senate version of the health care bill.
The amendment would prohibit federal dollars from funding abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother. It largely mirrors the amendment passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.