Pro-Life Democrat Meets Pelosi, May Not Get Vote to Stop Abortion in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
October 1, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Congressman Bart Stupak is the top pro-life Democrat in the House and he met with pro-abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. Stupak is hoping for an amendment to stop the abortion funding in HR 3200, the House health care bill, but it appears he may not get it.
The bill contains language called the Capps Amendment that opens the door to abortion funding but has been used by abortion advocates to deny that is the case.
Stupak and dozens of other pro-life and moderate Democrats are not falling for the phony compromise and they want assurances they can have a vote on an amendment that would actually prevent abortion funding.
Abortion advocates claim the Capps amendment makes it so there is no taxpayer abortion funding — merely by saying that the "private funds" taxpayers pay into the government-run health care system are not federal funds after the government receives them and uses them to pay for abortions.
No one really believes that for a minute, Stupak told the Detroit Free Press.
Stupak met with Pelosi yesterday and the talks apparently are continuing, but it appears he will not get the vote on the amendment he seeks.
The meeting was productive — they had a good discussion," a Democratic staffer informed of the results of the meeting told CBN News reporter David Brody.
"The Speaker and leadership want to listen to all members of their caucus. The bottom line is that the status quo is likely to prevail — no federal money to be used to pay for abortion services, as stated in Capps amendment," the aide said.
Stupak has threatened that, if he does not get an assurance that House members can vote for his amendment, he and as many as 40 Democrats will join House Republicans to vote against the rules for debate on the bill and the bill itself.
The threat could work: if 40 of the 256 current Democrats in the House joined the 177 Republican members in opposing the rule or the bill, Pelosi and her pro-abortion allies would lack the 218 votes needed to approve the rule or the bill.
Leading pro-life groups say the Capps amendment is a fraud that does not ban abortion funding.
"I can tell you that in reality, the Capps Amendment is a political hoax," says Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee.
"It is an attempt to smuggle into law language that would result in (1) direct funding of elective abortion by a federal agency, and (2) direct use of federal funds to pay premiums for private insurance plans that would cover elective abortion," he explained.
"The Capps Amendment explicitly authorizes the Secretary of HHS to pay for elective abortions, any abortions, under the government plan" he said.
"Under H.R. 3200 and the Capps Amendment, abortion providers would send their bills to DHHS. They would receive payment checks drawn on a federal Treasury account, in federal funds. This would be direct federal government funding of elective abortion," he concluded.
Three polls have found that Americans do not want abortion funding in any health care legislation.
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