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Limited effect seen in abortion clause

Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2009

Restrictions on abortion coverage approved in the House version of the healthcare bill likely will affect the affordability of the procedure for only a small minority of women. Although the bill has stirred passions on both sides of the abortion-rights debate—which are likely to be echoed when the Senate takes up its version—the practical effect of the restrictions will be limited, statistics suggest and some experts in family-planning issues say. The restrictions aim to ensure that no taxpayer dollars fund abortion. To that end, the government-run public insurance plan set up by the House bill wouldn't cover abortion, except in the rare cases of rape or incest, or when the pregnancy endangers the woman's life. Individuals getting federal subsidies to buy insurance on a new healthcare exchange also would be barred from buying policies that cover abortion, unless they do so with their own money.