Democrats Request Nancy Pelosi Allow Vote to Axe Abortion in Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 23, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Request Nancy Pelosi Allow Vote to Axe Abortion in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 23
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Congressional pro-life Democrats have sent their third letter in recent months to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking that she allow a vote on an amendment to strike the abortion funding in HR 3200, the health care bills. Now, in total, 38 Democrats have requested such an amendment.

Rep. Alan Mollohan, a pro-life West Virginia Democrat, is the author of the latest letter, that 28 of his Democratic colleagues signed.

The letter notes that, during his address to Congress on health care, President Obama stated that "no Federal dollars will be used to fund abortions."

"As Democrats who oppose Federal funding to pay for abortions, we were heartened to hear of his commitment in this regard," Mollohan and his colleagues write.

"While some assert that language contained in variations of H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, is sufficient to preclude Federal funds being used for abortion, we do not agree," the Democrats say.

"If eliminating Federal funding of abortion is sincerely the goal, then a simple solution would be to include the Hyde Amendment to the version of H.R. 3200 that comes to the Floor — the intent and effect of which is understood by all Members," they add.

"This is a serious matter for us and for our constituents, and regardless of their views on abortion, many Members are opposed to Federal funding," they continue. "We respectfully request inclusion of the Hyde Amendment in H.R. 3200 as it comes to the floor."

The signers of the letter include Representatives Alan Mollohan, Bart Stupak, Charlie Wilson, Nick Rahall, Mike Ross, Jim Marshall, Tim Holden, Charlie Melancon, Marion Berry, Marion Berry, Dan Lipinski, Steve Driehaus, Jim Oberstar, and Lincoln Davis.

Other signatories include Leonard Boswell, Gene Taylor, Jason Altmire
Travis Childers, Jack Murtha, Dale Kildee, Collin Peterson, Jerry Costello, John A Boccieri, Parker Griffith, John Tanner, Christopher Carney, Heath Shuler, Dan Boren, Henry Cuellar, and Marcy Kaptur.

In June, a collection of Democrats signed a letter to Pelosi with a non-perfunctory request that the House not advance any health care bill that doesn’t specifically prohibit abortion coverage or funding.

Rep. Dan Boren, a pro-life congressman from Oklahoma, organized that letter.

"As the debate on health care reform continues and legislation is produced, it is imperative that the issue of abortion not be overlooked," they wrote. "Plans to mandate coverage for abortions, either directly or indirectly, are unacceptable."

Another smaller group of Democrats authored a third letter in July saying they don’t want any abortion funding or mandates in the health care bill the House is considering.

That letter came from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, a formerly pro-life lawmaker who has been criticized for moving away from his old position.

"As health care reform legislation moves quickly through the three House committees and is considered by the full chamber over the next several weeks, we are increasingly concerned about potential roadblocks around the issue of abortion," the lawmakers said.

They said they "want to make sure that disagreements over this often-contentious issue don’t threaten the success of the final health care reform package."

Despite the letters, it appears ruling pro-abortion Democrats will not allow their colleagues a chance to vote on the Stupak amendment that would strike abortion funding.

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