Congressman Stupak: If Obama Removes Abortion Funding Ban, Health Care Dies

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 17, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressman Stupak: If Obama Removes Abortion Funding Ban, Health Care Dies

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 17
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Congressman Bart Stupak, whose amendment to ban abortion funding from the House health care bill, has seen President Barack Obama’s call and raised him. He says if Obama makes good on his threat to remove the ban in conference committee that he will effectively kill the health care bill.

Stupak is commenting on a claim by White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod that Obama would intervene to remove the abortion funding ban.

"They’re not going to take it out. If they do, health care will not move forward," Stupak told Fox News today.

"We won fair and square. … That’s why Mr. Axelrod’s not a legislator. He doesn’t really know what he’s talking about," Stupak added.

Stupak referenced the approximately 40 pro-life and other Democrats who voted for his amendment who, he said beforehand, would have voted against the bill had it contained the massive abortion funding.

He said he has "at least 10 to 15 to 20" votes against the health care bill without the abortion funding prohibition in place.

Those members, he said, would oppose the bill on final passage in the House after the conference committee if the Stupak amendment is removed.

"The majority has spoken. Most people agree — do not use public funds for abortion," he told Fox News.

"You’re not going to summarily start dismissing amendments which the majority of the House of Representatives wanted because some person, David Axelrod or someone, doesn’t like it," the Michigan Democrat added.

Other lawmakers were divided on whether the votes would be present to defeat the House bill without Stupak added.

Asked if the House would approve a conference report without the ban on abortion funding, House Minority Leader John Boehner replied “I do not believe so.”

But Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat who is the leading pro-abortion member, said, "I think he won’t have the votes when people explain to those members what exactly the Stupak amendment does."

She said some of Stupak’s original 40 members voted aganst the bill even with Stupak — although Stupak himself and Republican Rep. Anh Cao are yes votes on the bill that would almost definitely change if Stupak were removed.

Axelrod says that, because the Stupak amendment allegedly goes beyond the status quo under the Hyde amendment (which bans abortion funding under Medicaid), Obama will make sure the amendment is yanked during the conference committee.

"The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion," Axelrod said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union program.

Axelrod’s comments come after Obama’s own remarks which made it appear he would favor removing or weakening the Stupak amendment.

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