Casey, this week, was the only Democrat on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to vote against an amendment to the health care reform bill that would have funded abortion services at Planned Parenthood. From the Examiner:
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., would require health insurance companies "to contract with organizations like Planned Parenthood," according to a spokesman for the top Republican on the panel.
According to the amendment language, insurers would have to cover "essential community providers...that serve predominantly low-income, medically under-served individuals" such as Planned Parenthood.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, attempted to add language that would have blocked abortions from coverage, but Mikulski objected.
The amendment passed 12-11, with every Republican and one Democrat, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., voting against it.
Mikulski insisted that the bill "doesn't expand nor mandate an abortion service."
Hatch responded, "No, but it would provide for it."
Mikulski answered, "It would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate."
Senator Casey could have easily fudged it here and hidden behind the vague language offered by Senator Mikulski. But he didn't:
"The way it is written is too broad," Casey said. "The way it is written could be interpreted down the road to include something like abortion."
So why not thank him.
Although the Mikulski amendment passed, Planned Parenthood is worried it may be removed at some other juncture. In one of her "Dear Supporter" (it's usually 'Dear Friend') letters, PPFA's Cecile Richards asks supporters of "primary reproductive health care" to sign a petition to keep the amendment alive. She can never bring herself to say "abortion".