Obama Won’t Meet With Pro-Life Democrat to Discuss Abortion, Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 14, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Won’t Meet With Pro-Life Democrat to Discuss Abortion, Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 14
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The pro-life Democrat who says he had 40 Democrats who will vote against the health care bill in the House because it funds abortions can’t get a meeting with President Barack Obama. Rep. Bart Stupak, in a new interview, talks more about how the pro-life Democrats can hold up the pro-abortion bill, HR 3200.

Responding to the speech President Obama gave last week promoting the bills, Stupak told the Weekly Standard that "there certainly is public funding for abortion" in the House measure.

He says the legislation would allow both the public health insurance plan, known as the public option, and federally subsidized private plans to pay for abortions using taxpayer funds.

Stupak, a Michigan congressman, told the conservative magazine that he has repeatedly asked for a meeting, or even a few minutes on the phone, with Obama but has been consistently refused.

"I just jumped Rahm Emanuel again this morning" to ask for a meeting, Stupak said Thursday.

Stupak says the White House may want to take him up on his offer because he says he still has enough votes to derail either the bill or the rules for debate on it, which would prevent the legislation from moving from the committee to the floor.

"She knows better than that," Stupak told the Weekly Standard about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thus far not allowing a vote on his amendment to truly ban all abortion funding from the bill.

Rules Committee chairman Louise Slaughter has also commented that she doesn’t expect a vote on Stupak’s amendment.

Stupak said the media has largely focused on the coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats who oppose the health care bill for financial reasons, but one of the major reasons HR 3200 may not be approved in its current form is because of Democrats who oppose the abortion funding found in it.

"I’m not a blue dog, a yellow dog, a stray dog, or a hot dog," Bart Stupak told the Weekly Standard. "I’m just a plain old Democrat."

Whatever their color, pro-life Democrats could provide the cushion the pro-life movement needs — above and beyond the unified opposition from Republicans — to hold up the bill unless or until abortion funding is removed.

Last week, Stupak gave an interview to CBN News where he again promised that he and his colleagues would vote no without his amendment.

"What I’ve told the speaker and the leadership and the administration is first of all you have to give us that vote," Stupak told CBN News about the desire for an amendment to stop the abortion funding.

"If you don’t give us the vote, everything is off the table," he said.

In July, Stupak told CBS News that a total of 40 Democrats could be prepared to vote against the final health care restructuring bill if it does not exclude abortion funding.

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.

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