Thursday, November 05, 2009

Will Blue Dogs stand fast against abortion coverage?

Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 11/5/2009 9:45:00 AM

Just two days before a possible vote on their healthcare bill, Democratic leaders in the House have still refused to include a provision in the legislation that would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion under a new public health insurance program.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is hoping to begin floor debate on Democrats' healthcare bill (H.R. 3692) Friday night, with the goal of holding a vote as early as Saturday. Meantime, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is warning that the Senate may be unable to help President Obama make good on his repeated promise to pass healthcare legislation before the end of the year.

Blue Dog Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak (Michigan) said in a statement Wednesday he "will oppose bringing the bill to the floor until an amendment can be offered or language agreed that will prevent public funding for abortion." Fellow Blue Dog Travis Childers (D-Mississippi) has voiced similar intent, for the same reason. Stupak also said he will continue to encourage his other pro-life Democratic colleagues to block the bill "until there is satisfactory language to prevent public funding for abortion."

Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) notes that the Capps Amendment, which allows federal funding of abortion, was incorporated into the healthcare bill. "The way that [Democrats] are trying to characterize it is saying that direct federal taxpayer dollars will not be used -- but premium dollars will be used," she explains. "And these premium dollars are coming from basically the taxpayers, so it is a nuanced argument -- it is incorrect. Yes indeed, people will be able to get publicly funded abortions in the bill." Read more.

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