Pro-Abortion Group NARAL Attacks Pro-Life Democrat Bart Stupak on Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group NARAL Attacks Pro-Life Democrat Bart Stupak on Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 20
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Abortion advocates normally reserve their ammunition for attacks on pro-life Republicans and groups. They rarely focus their sights on pro-life Democrats, but they’re now going after Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan because he is pressing for a vote to make sure the House health care bill doesn’t fund abortions.

Stupak is leading the battle in Congress on HR 3200 and against the Capps Amendment that pro-abortion lawmakers added to deceive the public into thinking abortions will not be funded.

Because of his stalwart stance, NARAL has produced a new video attacking him that its president Nancy Keenan mailed to pro-abortion activists today.

"I’ll be honest — we all expected a fight from the usual anti-choice agitators on health-care reform," she said. "We expected it from Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), the Family Research Council, and the American Life League."

She accused Stupak of "carrying the right wing’s water on this issue."

"Stupak is ready to jeopardize the entire health-care reform bill to stand between women and their doctors," Keenan claims.

"He’s willing to undermine health-care reform — blocking the landmark bill from even coming to a vote — in order to impose an abortion ban on women in the reformed health system. His proposal would take away coverage from women who already have it," she says, even though the latter claim is not the case.

"We’ve made it through five congressional committees, but if we can’t beat Rep. Stupak’s sneaky road block on the House floor, it will all be for nothing," Keenan complains. "I can’t overstate the consequences of what anti-choice Rep. Stupak is trying to pull. We must win this one."

What Keenan is "trying to pull" is to merely get the ability to have a vote on his amendment to prevent HR 3200 from financing abortions with taxpayer funds.

Stupak has said if the House Rules Committee or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prevent him from getting a vote, he and a coalition of pro-life and moderate Democrats will join Republicans in voting against the rules for debate on the health care bill — which would ultimately prevent a vote on the bill itself.

“There are many of us Democrats in the House who are philosophically, legally, and morally opposed to public funding for abortions,” Stupak said earlier this month.

“If our amendment is not made in order we will try to shut down the rule, preventing the health care bill from coming to the floor for a vote,” Stupak added. “We want the chance to offer our amendment, the Hyde Amendment, on the floor of the House."

The Hyde amendment does not apply to the health care bills — they are guided by the Capps Amendment, that opens the door to abortion funding.

“If the Speaker believes that abortion funding is not in the bill then she should let me have my amendment, because if anything it would just be redundant," he said.

Stupak’s amendment, which he is co-sponsoring with pro-life Republican Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, reads: “No funds authorized under this Act (or an amendment by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion."

Previously, Stupak challenged President Barack Obama to urged Pelosi and House Democrats to allow a vote on his amendment to stop abortion funding. The challenge came after the two spoke over the phone and Obama said he would leave it to the House to decide.

Stupak has met with Pelosi and she didn’t give him any promise she would allow a vote. A top Democratic aide made it appear the rules for debate that must be adopted before the House can discuss the health care bill likely won’t allow a vote.

Meanwhile, pro-life advocates are concerned about a possible amendment from pro-abortion Rep. Henry Waxman of California that would claim to ban abortion funding but merely use accounting gimmicks to hide it.

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