Conservative Democrats Could Help Stop Health Care Bill With Pro-Abortion Effect

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Conservative Democrats Could Help Stop Health Care Bill With Pro-Abortion Effect

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 17
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — As the pro-life movement continues fighting the inclusion and promotion of abortion in the various health care bills Congress is considering, conservative Democrats are speaking up against the measures and could provide help in defeating them.

With President Barack Obama calling for Congress to deliver him a health care bill by the end of the month, some Democrats are rebelling against the decision to railroad bills through the House and Senate.

Late yesterday, Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a spokesman for the 52 members of the Democrats in the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said pro-abortion Democratic leaders don’t have the votes they need to pass the bills.

“There’s no way [party leaders] can pass the current bill on the House floor” without major changes to it, Ross said.

Ross says seven members of his group who sit on the Energy and Commerce Committee will vote against the bill unless major changes are made.

“I suspect we’ll have all the time we need [to make changes], given they don’t have the votes to get it out of committee," he said.

"Last time I checked, it takes seven Democrats to stop a bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee," Ross told reporters. "We had seven against it last Friday; we have 10 today."

"It should be a signal," pro-life Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak said about party leaders facing opposition from within the caucus. "They try to continue to ignore valid concerns by members. We are not going to roll over just because the title of the bill is ‘health care.’"

Three House committees are slated to begin considering the $1 trillion-plus bill this week, but the Energy and Commerce looms as the biggest challenge.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacted to Ross’ comments saying, “All of these issues will be worked out through the legislative process."

The Obama administration is sensing a problem and top administration officials are getting involved — with pro-abortion Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius meeting with some moderate Democrats needed to keep the health care restructuring bills moving forward.

Help from conservative Democrats against the bill is necessary because pro-life advocates are working overtime to amend or defeat it because of concerns that it will lead to significant abortion funding and coverage mandates.

Republican Rep. Joe Pitts, of Pennsylvania, talked about those problems after Thursday’s committee meeting on H.R. 3200, the House Democrats’ healthcare reform bill.

"Under the proposed legislation, virtually every individual will be required to have health care coverage that meets ‘minimum benefits standards’ established by the administration," he explained.

"Those minimum benefits will include abortion unless Congress acts to explicitly exclude abortion from any government mandated coverage or taxpayer funded health plan," Pitts said.

"Historical experience with federal statutes demonstrates that if abortion is not explicitly excluded, administrative agencies and the courts will mandate it," he added.

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