With her vote against the Nelson-Hatch amendment, McCaskill has broken her promise to Missourians. McCaskill promised she would not support legislation that included federal funding for abortions. The Nelson-Hatch amendment would have prevented funding for abortions in any new public option for health care and prevented federal subsidies for any plan that included abortion. Her vote against this amendment allows Sen. Harry Reid’s health care proposal to retain such funding.
McCaskill excuses her vote by saying the Hyde amendment already prevents such funding and that the Nelson-Hatch amendment prevents women from using their own money to buy abortion coverage. Both statements are false.
The Hyde amendment only prevents funding for abortion through annual appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services. Congressman Henry Hyde proposed this amendment in l977 to prevent taxpayer-funded abortions through Medicaid. Before this amendment, more than 300,000 abortions were performed each year through Medicaid. However, the Reid bill creates new streams of funding that would not flow through the Department of Health and Human Services, so they would not be covered by the Hyde restriction.
The Nelson-Hatch amendment would not prevent women from purchasing coverage of abortion with their own money as long as no federal subsidies were also used to purchase that coverage.
Missouri taxpayers do not want to pay for abortion. We call on McCaskill to keep her promise.
–Pam Fichter, president Missouri Right to Life