Lincoln Statement on Nelson Amendment

Washington – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) today made the following=
statement regarding her vote on the Nelson amendment. The Senate Finance C=
ommittee bill that Sen. Lincoln helped draft – as well as H.R. 3590 that is=
currently being debated on the Senate floor – both went to great lengths t=
o ensure that pending health insurance reform legislation adheres to curren=
t law, which prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion except in=
the cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. The =
Nelson amendment goes beyond current law to impose significant new restrict=
ions on abortion.

“I support common sense health insurance reform that would improve women’s=
access to prenatal care and healthy childbearing services and believe it i=
s important to prevent unintended pregnancies through education, personal r=
esponsibility, and contraception services,” Lincoln said.

“Unfortunately, the Nelson amendment would impose significant new restricti=
ons by banning private health insurance companies that wish to sell their p=
olicies through health insurance exchanges from covering abortion, as they =
do today, even when that coverage could only be financed through private pr=
emium dollars.

“I supported the Finance Committee health plan, which went to great lengths=
to preserve, not expand or limit, existing law that prohibits federal fund=
ing for abortion with exceptions for victims of rape and incest and when th=
e life of the mother is at risk.”