Abortion Funding Simmers Under Surface of Health Care Debate

The Wall Street Journal reports today that anti-abortion groups are gearing up for a big battle in health-care reform. Anti-abortion advocates seek an exclusion in any subsidy for lower-income people, helping them buy health care insurance, so that abortion is not covered.

Aantiabortion activist Randall Terry says “n”, to any public funds used to subsidize abortion.Abortion opponents are funding advertisements targeting key lawmakers. The Family Research Council is running television and radio ads in several states that are home to swing-vote Democratic senators, while the National Right to Life Committee is targeting pro-life Democrats in the House who likely will take the first vote on the measure in September.

Before they vote, “lawmakers will know this is a bill to set up a big federal abortion program,” said the right-to-life committee’s legislative director, Douglas Johnson.

Anti-abortion advocates, led by Randall Terry, are holding prayer vigils in front of swing-democrats like Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia.

Some Democrats have been searching for a compromise, suggesting at least one insurance plan that must rovide for abotion and at least one plan that excludes it. “It’s (abortion) very personal and it’s very emotional,” said Rep. Lois Capps (D., Calif.), who sponsored the amendment. “The goal is to not have controversial points stand in the way of making progress.”