Nelson: Won't vote for abortion language

Dec. 13, 2009 at 12:54 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., says he can't support a Senate healthcare reform measure because of its abortion language.

Speaking Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," Nelson, a key Democratic Party moderate, said that although the version crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was preferable to previous efforts, its provisions allowing coverage for abortions procedures is a deal-breaker for him.

Nelson's amendment, authored with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to include language prohibiting coverage of abortion procedures under any health plan receiving a public subsidy failed on a 54-45 vote last week.

The health reform measure passed by the House of Representatives includes such language.

"I said I can't support the bill with the abortion language that's there," Nelson told CBS. "Unfortunately the Nelson-Hatch failed but I do know that there are some who are right now trying to find language that might be compatible with the language in the House (bill). That's a tall order for people. I'm not prescribing ahead what they may be able to do."

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