Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak, who leads Democrats opposing any healthcare reform bill that doesn't restrict taxpayer funding of abortion, "not very confident" he'll vote with Dem leaders
UPDATE 10/23/09: Dem says he has ‘about 40 likeminded Democrats’ to kill ObamaCare if it funds abortion
UPDATE 10/12/09: House Dem will oppose health care bill if Pelosi doesn't allow pro-life amendment
-- From "Bart Stupak, Leader of Antiabortion Democrats: 'Not Very Confident' on Healthcare" by Dan Gilgoff, God & Country, U.S. News & World Report 10/2/09
[Excerpts of Rep. Stupak's responses to the reporter concerning his discussions with President Obama and House Speaker Pelosi:]
[Obama] urged me to try to work it out . . . basically said we don't need this fight, we're trying to do healthcare and just try to work it out if we can.
I brought up the fact [with the President] that when he spoke to the nation on September 9 he said, "Let me verify one more rumor, that there will be no public funding for abortion." And so I asked him to clarify that because it's sort of the opposite of H.R. 3200 [the House healthcare bill]. And he indicated to me that yes, he understands that and when he talked about that line [in his speech] he said "my plan." But the president has not put forth a plan, so it wasn't really clear.
And so my question was, was he just reading H.R. 3200 and was he not briefed on the Capps Amendment [on abortion coverage] , and he said, "No, no, I know the Capps Amendment."
The president did not get into the argument whether the Capps Amendment covers abortions or not. He never went there. He just said, "We have enough other arguments going on with the bill, let's work this one out."
Unfortunately, I don't see a clear resolution right now. Maybe some language can be drafted that I haven't seen yet that will accommodate everybody. But I'm going to go back to what the president said: no public funding for abortions. And that's the Hyde Amendment [the longstanding ban on federally funded abortions]. So let's have the Hyde Amendment. I'm prepared to go to the Rules Committee and offer the Hyde Amendment. I'm not too sure I'll get very far because no right-to-life amendments have been made to order all year.
The Capps Amendment says at least one plan [participating in a federal health insurance exchange] must provide abortion coverage and must have one that doesn't have it. For the first time ever, federal policy is saying that abortion is a covered service. That's completely opposite of Hyde. Second, if I'm in the public plan, I have to give one dollar per month [to abortion coverage]. I'm a man, and I can't get an abortion, but I have to pay for it. Those are two major differences from Hyde.
They have denied us every right-to-life amendment. There's just a lack of trust there. We don't believe it. How does the saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I won't get fooled twice.
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