.- In a statement Monday, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asserted that the Stupak Amendment currently preventing federally funded abortions in the House health care bill will be removed.
“I am confident that when it comes back from the conference committee that that language won't be there,” Wasserman Schultz told MSNBC, adding, “I think we're all going to be working very hard, particularly the pro-choice members, to make sure that's the case.”
The language in the Stupak Amendment not only prevents abortion coverage in the public insurance option but also prohibits private plans from offering coverage for abortions if they accept individuals who are receiving government subsidies.
Without the Stupak amendment the House would not have been able to amass enough votes to pass the current health care bill, which passed by a margin of 220 votes in favor to 215 against.
The opportunity to remove the Stupak Amendment will come during the conference between the House and Senate bills, and pro-abortion Democrats are reportedly working hard to ensure its removal.
“It was extremely painful for me to feel compelled to vote for a bill that contained that kind of restriction on a woman's ability to make her own reproductive choices,” said Wasserman Shultz on Monday.
The Senate version of health care overhaul legislation must still be voted on. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that the Senate may not pass a health care bill by the end of his self-imposed Christmas deadline, though President Obama has pressed his concern that the health care reform be finished by the end of the year.