Asked If It's Moral to Make Taxpayers Fund Abortion, Lieberman Says Government Makes People Pay For Things They Think Are Immoral 'All the Time'

By Karen Schuberg | December 15, 2009 | 7:41 PM EST

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Friday, July 24, 2009, in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP photo/Evan Vucci)

Washington, D.C. ( - When asked whether he thinks it is "morally right" to take tax dollars from pro-life Americans and use it to pay for health insurance plans that cover abortion, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said that the government makes people pay for things they think are immoral "all the time. asked Lieberman: “Do you think it is morally right to take [tax] money from pro-life Americans and give it to health plans that cover abortion? What is your opinion on that?  Is it morally right?”
Lieberman said: “Oh, as somebody once said, that’s a hard question to answer on one foot, but it happens all the time because we put money into a general pot and then it goes to things that some people support and some don’t.”
Lieberman added, “It’s hard though, it’s hard because it’s a moral question."

The Senate health care bill as it currently stands mandates that the secretary of health and human services make certain that at least one health insurance plan in the government-run exchanges--where people will use tax dollars to buy health insurance--must cover elective abortions. 

The mandate appears on page 120 of the 2,074-page bill, under the heading: “Assured Availability of Varied Coverage Through Exchanges.”
On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Senate voted 54-45 to kill an amendment to the Senate health care bill sponsored by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) that would have prohibited any tax dollars from paying for any part of any health care plan that covers abortion. The amendment essentially would have extended to the programs created by the bill the same prohibition of federal abortion funding that the Hyde amendment applies to currently existing health care plans funded with federal tax dollars.

Lieberman voted against Nelson's amendment and thus for giving tax dollars to insurance plans that cover abortion.