Pro-Life Democrats Still Plan to Stop House Health Care Bill Over Abortion Funding
by Steven Ertelt
August 25, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The leader of a group of 40 pro-life Democrats in the House of representatives says they still plan to stop the government-run health care bill if it is not amended to exclude abortion funding. As media outlets and the nonpartisan FactCheck web site confirm, HR 3200 funds abortion in a few different ways.
Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan congressman, is a long-time pro-life Democrat who has been a co-leader of the pro-life caucus in the House.
He said in July that the pro-abortion Democrats who lead Congress need to allow an amendment to remove taxpayer funding of abortion and insurance mandates for abortions from the bill or he and his colleagues will stop it.
"We are going to do everything we can to stop the rule, or the bill, from coming to the floor," Stupak told Time magazine in an article published yesterday.
The debate over the rule for debate on the health care "reform" bill could be as contentious as the bill itself. That is because abortion advocates have said they may not allow amendments to remove abortion funding from the legislation.
When members of Congress return from their August recess, they will work to combine the three bills House committees have approved into one measure. The House Rules Committee will propose rules for debate and the full house will debate and hold a vote on whether or not to adopt the rules.
If abortion advocates follow through on their apparent pledge to prevent members from voting on amendments to stop abortion funding, Stupak and his 40 pro-life Democrats could vote with Republicans in the chamber against the rule.
That could set up a situation where pro-abortion Democratic leaders are unable to bring up the bill and may be forced to send it back to committee to consider pro-life amendments.
Back in July, Stupak told CBS News he thinks three dozen Democrats will walk and repeatedly vote against the bill or rules for debate on it.
"I think if they do not have [the pro-life amendments] in there and President Obama says we are going to have a bill with nothing in there on abortion, I think it is going to backfire," he said. "I think we bring down the rule and it will be explicitly discussed in the health care plan one way or another."
Stupak said he is confident he will have "a minimum of thirty nine" Democrats who will join him in opposing the bill.
"If there is not direct language and we are denied our amendment we will focus our attention on the rule," Stupak warned.
Stupak said the pro-life and moderate Democrats would "demand" an up or down on the abortion funding limits before allowing the health care bill to move forward.
Meanwhile, Stupak commented on President Barack Obama’s comments that pro-life advocates are supposedly lying to the public about abortion funding.
Stupak says that Obama’s statements reveal either he does not fully understand the current House bill or "if he is aware of it, and he is making these statements, then he is misleading people."
Yesterday, LifeNews.com reported on a new factsheet from FactCheck.org and an article from Time magazine — both of which agree with analysis from pro-life groups that abortion funding and insurance mandates appear in the bill.
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