From Erica Werner of the Associated Press:
"Our goal is to maintain essentially Hyde-like protections that prevent federal funds from being used to pay for and subsidize abortion," [Bob] Casey's communications director Larry Smar said Wednesday, referring to the existing law on abortion, though nothing had been finalized.Read the entire article HERE.
Efforts to find such a common ground failed in the House.
Women's rights groups were caught off-guard by the provision that passed the House and are now vowing to keep similar language out of the Senate bill. Hundreds of activists organized by Planned Parenthood and other groups rallied Wednesday, holding signs reading "Listen up senators: Women's health is not negotiable."
Several House Democrats spoke, vowing to oppose final passage of any health bill with the tough abortion restrictions already approved by the House. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., called it "a devil's bargain" that she couldn't accept...
Abortion opponents say Reid's bill circumvents Hyde. For example, they say that any funds a government insurance plan would use to pay for abortion would be federal funds by definition -- even if the money comes from premiums paid by beneficiaries.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said after addressing the crowd that she didn't think Nelson had the votes to prevail, though she stopped short of saying she'd oppose the overall legislation if it included Nelson's language. Reid controls 60 votes, the exact number needed to advance legislation in the 100-member Senate, so he has no room for error.
Boxer told activists at the rally that the anti-abortion amendment adopted by the House amounted to "the biggest rollback in a woman's right to choose in three decades."