Pro-choice Dems Say Bill Can Pass Without Stupak

By Caitlin Taylor

Mar 20, 2010 2:12pm

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: Democrats who support abortion rights rejected the idea of further compromise with Rep. Bart Stupak and other anti-abortion rights Democrats, saying they think they can muster the votes to pass the reform bill without him. The comments were made as the lawmakers headed into a vote-counting meeting on Capitol Hill. House Democrats are set to meet later today with President Obama, who delayed a trip overseas to see his long-sought top legislative priority over the finish line in the House. But Stupak has said he has enough Democratic votes to kill the health reform effort, unless more stringent restrictions on using federal funds to provide insurance coverage for abortion services are added to the health reform bill. "We've compromised enough," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. Asked if that could make the bill go down, she said, "the bill's not going down." Rep. Jan Schakowsky echoed DeGette, saying that if further changes were made to the abortion language in the bill it would lose the support of pro-choice Democrats. Schakowsky added that Democrats would be able to pass the bill around Stupak, and she implied that pro-life Democrats besides Stupak could ultimately be convinced to support the bill. Though DeGette and Schakowsky sounded confident, it is not at all clear that the Democrats in the House have the votes they will need without support from Stupak. The language preferred by Stupak was passed by the House in November but later rejected by the Senate. A compromise among Democrats in the Senate could still bar federal funding for abortions.  However, the Senate may somewhat skirt the issue by allowing coverage of abortion for those who get government help paying for their insurance, but making people in those policies pay a separate dollar amount each month out of their own pocket.

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