NPR logo Sen. Nelson Rejects New Abortion Language In Health Care Bill

Sen. Nelson Rejects New Abortion Language In Health Care Bill

To get the required 60 votes to pass health care overhaul legislation in the Senate, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid will very likely need Sen. Ben Nelson who has said a bill will need to have anti-abortion funding language he can accept if he's to vote for it.

He evidently hasn't seen such language yet. Nelson, a center-right Nebraska Democrat, gave the thumbs down to compromise language Reid has negotiated.

An Associated Press excerpt:

A moderate Democrat whose vote could be crucial said Thursday an attempted Senate compromise on abortion is unsatisfactory, raising doubts about whether the chamber can pass President Barack Obama's health care overhaul by Christmas.

"As it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient," Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a key holdout on the health care bill, said in a statement after first making his concerns known to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Nelson said there were positive improvements dealing with teen pregnancy and adoption, and that he was open to further negotiations. But in a radio interview earlier in the day with KLIN in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nelson also said that abortion wasn't his only concern and he didn't see how the Christmas deadline was achievable.