In a 19-17 vote on Monday night, the House Budget Committee shot down the inclusion of the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the health care reconciliation bill. The amendment, which was drafted by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) last November, would prevent the use of federal funds for abortion and is likely to be addressed by the full House later this week.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) charged on Monday night that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who was not present at the debate, and others who take issue with the Senate bill have “willfully continued to repeat falsehoods about” the Senate legislation's provision of federally funded abortion, according to CNSNews.com.
“Holding up this bill to play politics on the abortion issue is emphatically not a pro-life stance,” said Rep. DeLauro, who claims the Senate bill does not fund abortions.
The health care reconciliation bill is intended to amend the full health care bill which was passed in the Senate last December. Monday's Budget Committee vote rejecting the Stupak Amendment, acts as a non-binding recommendation to the full House, which is expected to approve a final version of the reconciliation bill in the next several days.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who introduced the Stupak amendment to the Monday night Budget Committee debate, argued against the Senate health care bill and said that it “represents the largest threat to innocent human life since Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court.”
Addressing the resistance to the Stupak Amendment, Rep. Jordan stated that the amendment “simply says that no federal dollars can go to pay for abortion or subsidize a plan that covers abortion. This continues the current policy under the Hyde Amendment, and makes sure that it is permanently applied to any health care reform law.”
“I will say it one more time, since for some reason too many of our colleagues have not gotten the message, or like Congressman Boehner, have willfully continued to repeat falsehoods about it,” Rep.DeLauro charged on Monday. “Other than the situations excepted by the Hyde language as has been the case for years now, no federal funds are used for abortion, or can be used for abortion in this health-care package,” she added.
In media coverage of the health care debate, some have speculated as to why there is a resistance on the part of some Democrats to adding the Stupak amendment if the Senate and reconciliation bill truly do not provide for federally funded abortions.