Sen. Blanche Lincoln joined other Democrats in defeating an Orrin Hatch proposal to make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to get insurance policies that cover abortion. It was an amendment to federal legislation that already contains multiple safeguards against use of federal money for abortion, which is current federal law.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) described Hatch's amendment as "insulting" to women.
Democrats on the committee, along with pro-abortion-rights Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) rejected Hatch's argument, saying it would be unfair to require women to purchase separate insurance coverage for abortion services. Such a requirement, Snowe said, would raise privacy issues by asking women to anticipate their need for abortion coverage.
"It's discriminating against women," said committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who authored the bill.
The amendment failed on a 10-13 vote, with Snowe joining Democrats and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) voting with the Republicans.
Hatch has, to our knowledge, not proposed an amendment that makes men acquire separate coverage to obtain a doctor's counseling and pharmaceutical coverage for erectile dysfunction.
PS -- Arkansas Republicans are already lying aboout the action, describing the vote as a vote for spending federal money on abortion. It wasn't.