Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 11:26 a.m.
Rep. Kendrick Meek has joined a small group of house Democrats asking that any health-care reforms not lead to federal funding of abortion, according to the Washington Post.
The possibility of taxpayer money being used to pay for abortions is becoming a hot-button issue in the health-care reform debate -- one that Republicans might use to completely derail the purpose. Meek joined four other centrist Democrats who sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they are "increasingly concerned about potential roadblocks around the issue of abortion" and urging for "a common-ground solution." They propose that private insurance companies should be allowed but not required to cover abortion as long as federal funds don't foot the bill. Exceptions could be made in cases of rape or threats to the mother's life.
The Post also points out that two of the five politicians are running for office in more moderate, if not conservative, states. Meek so far is the only prominent Democrat running to replace Mel Martinez in the Senate.
Many liberal and pro-choice groups oppose the existing block on funding for abortion, saying it endangers women's health and is a discriminatory practice.