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Kadie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 06:05 PM
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Sen. Barbara Boxer leads charge on abortion
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Drew Joseph: Boxer leads charge on abortion

California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a long-time advocate of women's rights, squared off today with Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson with an impassioned plea against his anti-abortion amendment. The Nelson amendment that would replicate the controversial House abortion language in the Senate health care bill.

Pro-choice women's groups say the amendment goes beyond current law in restricting women's access to abortions by banning coverage in any insurance policies sold on the proposed insurance exchanges. Women would have to buy a separate rider to get coverage; women's groups argue that the riders would be very expensive and that most plans would simply drop coverage.

Boxer charged that male senators who support the amendment are trying to restrict women's freedoms. She hypothetically compared it to an amendment that would force men to purchase an extra rider if they wanted to take Viagra, a provision she said she would not support.

"What have women ever done to deserve this punishment and lack of respect?" Boxer asked.

The debate would rage as we speak, except that Sen. John McCain is filibustering by rehashing his arguments about why the overall bill shouldn't pass, including defending Medicare from any trims.

Boxer asked him how long he planned to talk, and McCain responded with a curt, "I don't know." He threw in a charge dismissing comparisons of health care fillibusters with past civil rights battles.

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