As the Senate heads into debate over a crucial abortion amendment, pro-life Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) is sticking to his position that the issue should not sink the overall health-care reform legislation.

Casey favors an amendment by Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) that would bar federally subsidized health insurance plans from covering many abortions even if the procedure were privately funded. The House approved a similar provision in its version of the bill.

But Casey reiterated that he is likely to support final passage, with or without the abortion restriction. A vote on the Nelson amendment could come on Tuesday.