Will abortion issue derail health care bill?

Rick Moran
It would seem at this point, with Pelosi racing to cram down health care reform, that the bill will be won or lost on the abortion issue.

Nearly 2 dozen House Democrats apparently derailed a deal last night on abortion language in the reform bill that would have set up an independent monitor who would make sure that no federal funds were used for abortions. This transparent go around was scuttled by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who, in an unusual way, is participating fully in the wrangling over the abortion issue.

Instead of the compromise language, all bets are off as Pelosi has reluctantly agreed to allow Representative Bart Stupak (MI) to introduce an amendment that would keep the ban on federal funding of most abortions in place.

There are indications that at least some of the pro-life Democrats who will vote for the Stupak amendment - which will almost certainly lose - will then vote for the total reform package anyway. This is important because as it stands now, the bill is teetering on the edge of going down to defeat.

There are still dozens of congressmen who have not indicated which way they will vote, while this Politico piece by Pat O'Connor and Jonathan Allen quotes "Democratic officials" saying that there are 25 "hard nos." Doing the math, that means that Pelosi can afford to lose only 15 more Democrats - assuming no Republicans vote for the bill - or the bill is toast.

President Obama will make his way to The Hill today to try and do a little arm twisting of his own. From all appearances, he has his work cut out for him.




It would seem at this point, with Pelosi racing to cram down health care reform, that the bill will be won or lost on the abortion issue.

Nearly 2 dozen House Democrats apparently derailed a deal last night on abortion language in the reform bill that would have set up an independent monitor who would make sure that no federal funds were used for abortions. This transparent go around was scuttled by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who, in an unusual way, is participating fully in the wrangling over the abortion issue.

Instead of the compromise language, all bets are off as Pelosi has reluctantly agreed to allow Representative Bart Stupak (MI) to introduce an amendment that would keep the ban on federal funding of most abortions in place.

There are indications that at least some of the pro-life Democrats who will vote for the Stupak amendment - which will almost certainly lose - will then vote for the total reform package anyway. This is important because as it stands now, the bill is teetering on the edge of going down to defeat.

There are still dozens of congressmen who have not indicated which way they will vote, while this Politico piece by Pat O'Connor and Jonathan Allen quotes "Democratic officials" saying that there are 25 "hard nos." Doing the math, that means that Pelosi can afford to lose only 15 more Democrats - assuming no Republicans vote for the bill - or the bill is toast.

President Obama will make his way to The Hill today to try and do a little arm twisting of his own. From all appearances, he has his work cut out for him.