Democrats Won’t Commit to Keeping Stupak Amendment to Stop Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 6, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Won’t Commit to Keeping Stupak Amendment to Stop Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 6
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Leading House Democrats are refusing to give pro-life lawmakers any guarantee that they will keep the Stupak amendment that cuts off abortion funding in the health care bill in later versions of the legislation should the House approve it.

The House is expected to vote on the crucial amendment today to ensure abortion funding is not allowed in either the public option or through the affordability credits.

However, even if the House adopts the Stupak amendment, there is no guarantee that it will remain when House and Senate leaders meet in a conference committee to iron out the differences in the two bills.

House Majority Leader John Boehner has thus far twice asked top Democrats whether they would commit to keeping the abortion funding ban in the bill as it moves forward and twice he was rebuffed.

Boehner asked pro-abortion committee chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, who refused to give him any assurances.

He then asked another committee chairman, pro-abortion Rep. Charles Rangel, if he would commit to the abortion funding and, again, he was denied a confirmation.

"I can’t guarantee you anything," Rangel said

Boehner responded: "While the House is expected to take on the Stupak amendment, it is quite clear that this could be a shell game that is underway and we have no guarantee that when it comes back from conference that the language will be in the bill."

"I have my doubts this language if it passes has any chance of being in the final version of this bill," Boehner said.

Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have agreed to go along with the Stupak amendment only because she knows that it could be removed in the future as the process proceeds.

"Pelosi, herself an ardent supporter of abortion rights, was betting that in the end her compatriots would support the bill and continue to work for changes in the weeks ahead," the newspaper indicated. "The health care legislation, after all, would not be finalized until a version is approved by the Senate and differences between that bill and the House measure can be reconciled."

In addition, pro-abortion blog Open Left indicates that President Barack Obama may have given his personal assurance to strip the Stupak amendment from the bill down the road.

"To my knowledge, no pro-choice Democrats have threatened to vote against the bill as a result of this," the blog notes. "Apparently, this is because of a rumor going around Congress that President Obama promised Henry Waxman that he will ‘personally’ work to remove the language in conference."

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