House OKs Vote on Stupak Amendment to Cut Abortion Funding From Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
November 6, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- In a surprise move after hours of tumultuous negotiations, the House Rules Committee, very early Saturday morning, approved rules for debate on the pro-abortion health care bill. Although it appeared Speaker Nancy Pelosi would deny one, it allows a vote on an amendment to remove abortion funding.
Pelosi's hand appeared to have been forced when pro-abortion House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced earlier in the day that she did not have enough votes to pass the bill because of objections from pro-life Democrats.
The committee okayed a Rule that allows the House to vote on the Stupak amendment, offered by pro-life Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, to the health care reform legislation.
Stupak had dozens of Democrats who threatened to vote against the Rule and the bill if he did not get a vote on his amendment. If the amendment is defeated, Stupak and pro-life Democrats will likely still oppose the bill because of the abortion funding.
The bill, HR 3962, currently funds abortions in two ways -- by allowing the public option (or government-run health care program) to pay for abortions and by allowing the affordability credits the government would give to consumers to be used to pay for health care plans that fund abortions.
The Stupak amendment would apply the fundamental principles of the Hyde amendment, which has long prohibited abortion funding under the Medicaid and HHS programs, to the health care reform bill and essentially prohibit all government funding of abortion under it.
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com after the committee vote on the Rule that the vote on the Stupak could be the most important abortion-related vote cast in Congress since Roe.
"This will be one of the most important roll call votes that U.S. House members ever casts on a pro-life issue," he said. "Any lawmaker who votes against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is, in effect, voting in favor of establishing a federal government program that will directly fund abortion on demand, with federal funds......"
We will see which Catholic legislators vote for, or against, making their fellow citizens and Catholics pay for abortion.