Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama Challenged on Abortion in Health Care at Summit, but Dismisses Subject

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, DC, February 25, 2010 ( – After hours of back and forth sparring between Democrats and Republicans over health care reform during Thursday’s public health care summit, the topic of abortion funding was broached by House Minority Leader John Boehner, but dismissed by President Obama.

In his remarks to the president, in which he expressed several concerns about the bill, Boehner noted that his letter urging Obama to include pro-life Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) in the summit had been ignored. Stupak, the most outspoken defender of a ban on abortion funding among pro-life House Democrats, was co-author of the House amendment last year that barred abortion funding.

"The Stupak-Pitts amendment - which reflects the will of the American people on the issue of federal funding of abortion - is supported by a bipartisan majority in the House, but was excluded from the president's proposal," said Boehner.

"Pro-life Democrats in the House have already pledged to vote against this provision," he said. "Health care reform should be an opportunity to protect human life, not end it." Boehner complained that the abortion funding issue, which has proved a major sticking point in practically every step of the bill's progress, was "not even listed as a topic for discussion at the summit." Full story.

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