Note: this is the news from Wednesday…sorry for the delay!
Yesterday the Senate voted 54-45 to table the Nelson-Hatch amendment, also known as the abortion coverage ban, effectively defeating the measure. This will not be the final word on abortion coverage and health care reform, however, as the House health care bill still contains the Stupak-Pitts amendment.
The New York Times published an op-ed by Rep. Bart Stupak, who hopes that his abortion coverage ban will be included in the final health care bill. He also claims that his amendment merely continues existing law, ignoring the effect the amendment will have on access to all insurance coverage for abortion care.
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend writes on Politico that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has “lost its way” in the health care debate, as the bishops are more concerned over restricting access to abortion care than expanding access to health care for all.
Faced with a $2.6 billion shortfall, this morning Gov. Gregoire released an all-cuts 2010 supplemental budget proposal. The governor made clear that she does not support her budget, which is required by law to be balanced using existing revenues, and said that she supports a revenue increase to save critical services like the Basic Health Plan, school funding and the General Assistance-Unemployable program.
Congress has finalized an omnibus spending bill. Included in the legislation is the removal of a long-standing ban on the use of Washington, D.C.’s local funds for abortion care.
A Colorado bill would require health insurers to cover maternity care and birth control.
Three women filed a lawsuit in a European court challenging Ireland’s abortion ban. Ireland is one of the few European countries that prohibit abortion, a policy that forces more than 7,000 Irish women to travel to other countries each year for abortion care.