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Health Care Reform Splits Democrats on Abortion

Pro-life Democrats disagree over whether bills include federal funding for abortion.

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 ...

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