The Deacon's Bench

The Associated Press takes a look at abortion and health care reform this morning, and concludes that the legislation being considered would signal a change on abortion — but what that means is, evidently, debatable:

President Barack Obama’s health care bill would change federal policy on abortion, but not open the spigot of taxpayer dollars that some abortion opponents fear.

Abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America say the House and Senate versions of the bill represent the biggest expansion of abortion restrictions in years, yet they’re not trying to defeat the measures. Instead, a bitter dispute among abortion opponents over which version is stricter could derail Obama’s quest to remake the health insurance system.

Major anti-abortion groups such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Right to Life Committee say the Senate provisions expected to come before the House shortly are a backdoor taxpayer subsidy for abortion. Other abortion opponents disagree.

“I actually think the Senate bill will more effectively prohibit federal funds from going to abortion,” said Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America in Washington. “That legislation will actually reduce the demand for abortion in the United States.”

Check out the rest, which also offers a Q & A about this issue.

Meantime, The Anchoress is putting things in context over at her place.

The folks at have a look at what’s going on, too (though their analysis deals only with the House bill and appears not to have been updated since last year…)

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