UPDATE: Nelson amendment update: Women senators speak out
We'd heard about Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson's plan to propose an amendment "as identical to Stupak as it can be," and today Nelson did just that. The measure, which would deny millions of women access to abortion services, was introduced this afternoon, and debate was underway even before it was formally proposed.
Senator Claire McCaskill (MO) spoke out against the bill's House counterpart in an appearance on CBS this morning, saying it "goes too far" and prohibits the use of "private money in a private market for any kind of health services related to abortions." McCaskill also outlined her belief that senators will reject Nelson's measure, a view Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) also shared with supporters today.
On the Senate floor, Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) took the lead in voicing opposition to the amendment, passionately explaining the danger of potential new restrictions on women's rights.
Watch Boxer in action here:
Also speaking out against the amendment was freshman Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), who worked to explain exactly what the proposed health care legislation would do -- and how the Nelson amendment would go beyond current legislation to restrict women's rights.
A vote on the amendment is expected to take place Tuesday.