Senate Abortion Compromise Less Drastic Than House

Instead of barring all health plans in the exchange from covering abortion, the Senate version requires at least one plan to cover the procedure

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November 19, 2009 -- The health care reform package unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Wednesday night bars the use of federal funds for abortion services, but does not go as far as the House bill -- which prevents women in many cases from buying insurance with their own money that covers abortion.

The Senate version would require at least one plan within the health insurance exchange that the bill sets up to offer a plan that covers abortion and one that doesn't. It would also authorize the Health and Human Services Secretary to audit plans to make certain that abortion isn't being paid for with federal dollars.

Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), who authored compromise abortion language in the House that both sides had agreed to before the more restrictive measure won out, is pleased with the Senate version.

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For the complete Senate bill click here.

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