WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The debate over U.S. healthcare reforms has expanded to include arguments over how abortion procedures will be dealt with, observers say.
Some moderate Democrats have expressed support for conservatives seeking to bar millions of low- and middle-income people who would receive federal subsidies to buy insurance policies from purchasing plans that cover elective abortions, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Pro-choice advocates, however, warn that it such a move is made, it would likely eliminate existing coverage for such procedures from the marketplace, effectively ending coverage for millions of women who have it now.
Those who want to eliminate abortion coverage cite a 30-year-old ban on the use of taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions. Those on both sides of the issue are watching President Barack Obama, who made a campaign pledge to support abortion rights, but who has also said his healthcare reforms would not provide subsidies for elective abortions, the Times said.
Lawmakers told the newspaper the latest version of the bill requires insurers to use only money from private sources to pay for abortions, but abortion opponents contend that would still help people afford health coverage that includes abortion coverage.