The potential problem for abortion rights caused by the Nelson restriction on abortion coverage in the now passed health care reform bill is not really the fault of the Nelson restriction.
It's a solid compromise and I personally am more than a little geeked it passed. The idea is that insureds can now opt-in for abortion coverage, writing a separate check to pay for this coverage, allowing insureds to have coverage like they do now, and allowing insurance to cover it, like many agencies do now and avoiding all that ridiculous argument about federally-funded abortions (in a seriously round-about, not actually at all way) already outlawed in the Hyde Amendment.
The fear, rightly held, is that because nobody ever expects they'll have to have an abortion, especially because (in my experience) most of the women having them claim to be pro-life, very few will opt-in for it and most insurance will stop offering coverage. I see this fear, I understand it, and I do think it's a very real possibility.
But this problem does not lie with the NRestriction. This is a fair compromise that even if it isn't exactly what we want, it's better than what was being offered and in this case I do believe health care reform is important enough that we have to take our lumps here, and cannot conscientiously object to the larger idea.
The problem lies with lifers and stigma. Nobody believes they'll ever have an abortion, I think partially because of their own reasons, nobody wants to think any given undesirable situation is looming, but also because I think many times women aren't allowed to consider the possibility out loud, honestly. How do so many women having abortions claim to be against abortion? Because they still believe, we still believe, abortion only really happens to "those girls," doing something other than what we're doing, and we have stigmatized it accordingly. So I believe when people consider writing a check in understanding the possibility of an abortion in their lives, they're saying in their heads that the check would be to pay for an irresponsible, child-despising, anti-family, drug addicted little girl to have an abortion. This girl doesn't exist in that person's family, so why would that person write a check to cover her abortion? She doesn't exist in your family, but a girl whose birth control failed, or a woman who thought she held a stable professional position does, and these are the majority of the real women that have abortions.
The NRestriction is the best hand to be made of the cards being dealt and attacking it is ignoring the larger problem, that when the average American thinks of abortion, they don't think an average person can have them. Women who have abortions who are average human beings, don't think an average person can have them. We have to change the way we think about abortion and this isn't a pro-abortion rant, we have to change the way we think about abortion because at best, it isn't accurate. If you've had an abortion, you're hurting yourself by keeping it to yourself, and I hate to suggest it's your responsibility to tell anyone. It's your business and your determination as to who in your life is privy to this, but if you've had an abortion, you're doing a service to other women who will ever have to have an abortion, morally-bankrupt, drug-addicted and family-hating or otherwise.