By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2009 ( – What was possibly the final bid to halt the Obama administration health care bill's expansion of abortion in the House Energy and Commerce Committee failed early Friday.

Another pro-life amendment offered by Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joe Pitts (R-PA) to halt the abortion mandate Friday was rejected 27-31. (A tally of the votes can be found here.)

The amendment states that “no funds authorized under this Act (or amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion,” although it makes exceptions in the case of danger to the mother's life, or in cases of rape or incest.

“Once again the Democratic Majority has demonstrated it fully intends to fund or subsidize abortion services in their health care plan,” commented Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on this latest Committee action. 

“With the majority of Americans, we believe that health care legislation should not cover abortion. The actions of the House Committee demonstrate beyond any doubt that it intends for the federal government to fund coverage of abortion on demand.”

Perkins applauded Stupak and the other committee Democrats who voted to keep abortion out of the health care bill.

“We will continue to work with members of both parties to remove abortion from the government health care plan when this legislation moves to the House floor,” he said.

Stupak and Pitts had made a similar, initially successful bid during committee mark-ups late last night, but met with failure hours later when Committee Chairman Henry Waxman invoked House rules that allowed him to bring the measure up for a second vote.  The amendment then failed 30-29. 

Earlier Thursday evening, the House passed an amendment by pro-abortion California Democrat Rep. Lois Capps that allows for federal funding of abortion coverage in the government health care plan, permits taxpayer subsidies of private plans covering abortion, and mandates that every U.S. region have at least one health plan covering abortion.

See related coverage:

House Pro-Abortion Health Amendment Passes: Pro-Life Amendment Passed then Struck Down