Pro-life Democrats are at odds with their party's leaders, saying abortions will be publicly funded under health care reforms as current legislation stands.
Speaking at a roundtable this week, Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) said last week that there are more changes to be made to the bill before he will be confident federal money won't fund abortion. Casey, a pro-life Catholic, was criticized by church leaders earlier this year for voting to allow federal funding for overseas clinics that provide abortions by overturning the Mexico City policy.
"Just to clarify for my own part, I do think we need some more work done on parts of the bill, but we're doing that right now," Casey told reporters October 21.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) followed Casey by saying no one will have to make a choice between voting for health care reform and ensuring abortion isn't federally funded because Democrats have ensured that abortion services will not receive public money.
"I believe there are those who want to take down the bill who will say that is not the case," Stabenow said. "But we have gone to great lengths to make sure this is absolutely neutral."
Likewise, President Barack Obama has promised that under his plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.
But Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life, says that assertion isn't true. No matter which version of the health care bill you look at, each one contains strong possibilities for federal abortion funding and some even mandate it, she told Christianity Today.
"I don't know how people can look with a straight face and say there is no federal funding for abortion," she says.
A current law called the Hyde amendment bars most ...