Is Capuano Changing His Mind On Abortion Provision?

Rep. Michael Capuano's campaign says it has not received a significant number of phone calls and e-mails criticizing his decision to support the landmark health care reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last weekend.

So the political world is trying to understand why Capuano seems to have suddenly changed his mind about a key abortion provision of the bill known as the Stupak amendment.

Capuano has now clarified his position, saying he would vote against the health care legislation if it survives the legislative process with the amendment intact.

This after he criticized Attorney General Martha Coakley for saying she would have voted against the legislation because of its anti-abortion language.

The measure contains language that would prohibit the use of government funds for any health plan that covers abortions. Planned Parenthood says this is an even broader restriction of federal dollars now in place.  That's because under current law, states such as Massachusetts are allowed to provide Medicaid coverage for abortions, so long as all the money is state money.

Under the proposed legislation passed by the House, Massachusetts would not be allowed to fund abortions under Medicare at all.  And people of modest means or small businesses who use their own money to buy subsidized plans on the Connector would no longer be able to buy plans that cover abortions.

Capuano says it was essential to move health care to the Senate and so voted for it despite the anti-abortion provision.

This program aired on November 11, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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