Stupak Postpones Press Conference, Abortion Advocates Attack Potential Deal

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 20, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Stupak Postpones Press Conference, Abortion Advocates Attack Potential Deal

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 20
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Rep. Bart Stupak, the de facto head of the pro-life Democrats in the House, has postponed a press conference slated for Saturday morning to discuss a potential deal with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stop the massive abortion funding in the Senate health care bill.

The Hill indicates a Stupak staffer said the press event may be at a new time "not yet determined."

Although further details aren’t available, rumblings on Capitol Hill make it appear Pelosi has stepped back from a potential deal with Stupak.

That could mean she believes she has the 216 votes she needs to pass the pro-abortion Senate health care bill on Sunday afternoon, that she and Stupak couldn’t reach an agreement and the vote is still in jeopardy given his opposition, or Pelosi backed down because of strong opposition from abortion advocates.

At this time, a group of pro-abortion House members have left Nancy Pelosi’s office, according to Fox News, saying there will not be a vote on any Stupak language.

After reported the late Friday conversations between Pelosi and Stupak, pro-abortion groups came out of the woodwork to stomp on the potential deal.

The pro-abortion group NARAL came out strongly against a potential deal.

"Pro-choice Americans stand strongly alongside our allies in Congress who are resisting Mr. Stupak’s outrageous last-minute attempts to hijack health-reform legislation,’ NARAL president Nancy Keenan said.

"The public has grown tired of this unnecessary drama and wants to see Congress move forward with a bill that is not tainted with Stupak-like provisions. Negotiations with Mr. Stupak are a non-starter for NARAL Pro-Choice America and pro-choice women and men across this country," she added.

Democratic Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, a top pro-abortion activist, also said he would work against any deal.

"I strongly disagree with Bart," Dingell said on MSNBC. "I think he’s wrong."

"I’m going to try to show him the error of his ways, and I’m also going to try to see to it that we beat him on this," Dingell said on MSNBC. "Because this is a matter of the utmost humanitarian and economic concern to this nation."

Meanwhile, pro-life Democrat Nick Rahall of West Virginia is still undecided on the Senate health care bill mostly because of his misgivings about its abortion funding.

And Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas is also still undecided for the same reasons.

“I am almost there,” Cuellar said in an interview wit the Houston Chronicle, citing “the nuns and other folks” who are Catholic dissidents who have endorsed the pro-abortion bill and saying he would not take a call from President Barack Obama.

“I want to make up my own mind,” he said. “At the end of the day, we take a vote.” The president, he said, is “not going to be out there running my election.”

In another new development, Congressman John Barrow of Georgia, says he will vote no on the pro-abortion Senate bill.

Under the Senate health care bill that will be the main bill Obama and Democrats push through Congress, there is no ban on abortion funding. While some states can opt out of funding abortions under the plan, taxpayers in other states will be forced to pay for them.

But the bill contains other pro-abortion problems that are concerns for pro-life advocates.

The bill requires that at least one health care plan be promoted across the country that pays for abortions, more abortion funding would come via the affordability credits, and many of the so-called limits on abortion funding in the Senate bill are temporary and could expire or be overturned at a later date.

The Senate health care bill also pays for abortions under the Indian Health Service program.

And it contains the Mikulski amendment that would allow the Obama administration to define abortion as preventative care and force insurance plans to pay for abortions.

Finally, the Senate bill does not contain language needed to offer full conscience protection for pro-life medical workers and facilities.

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