Abortion debate flares up in Pa. Senate committee

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania Senate committee meeting that turned heated was the latest stop for a Republican-penned bill to prevent coverage of most abortions in health insurance policies offered in the federal health care law’s insurance marketplaces.

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved the bill, 9-to-5. Eight of nine Republicans supported it, while four of five Democrats opposed it.

Opponents say the bill expands restrictions on abortion rights, but proponents say it’s in line with Pennsylvania’s ban on taxpayer-funded elective abortions.

The proposal would allow insurance policies sold in the marketplace to cover abortions in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. But opponents say it lacks protections for the mother’s health.

The bill has House approval and is expected next week on the Senate floor.

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