By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus has requested a meeting with President Obama next week after issuing a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling the passage of the pro-life Stupak amendment to the House's health care bill an “unprecedented and unacceptable restriction” on abortion services.
“Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women's access to reproductive health services,” states the letter, going on to vow opposition to the final version of the bill if the pro-life amendment offered by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. remains.
Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., the co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, claim the letter has been signed by more than 40 House Democrats – meaning there would be enough “no” votes to kill the bill altogether. However, the actual list of signatures has not been released.
In a recent appearance on MSNBC, DeGette stated: “Frankly, the women of America should be furious because this just does not say no federal funding for abortion, this says women cannot use their own money to buy an insurance policy that would include a legal medical procedure.”
However, the claim that women would not be able to privately purchase abortion coverage, first stated by pro-abortion Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., was deemed false in an article by the non-partisan fact-checking Web site Politifact.com earlier this week.
White House officials already met with the ire of the pro-abortion lobby on Wednesday afternoon. According to a report by ABC's Jake Tapper, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and Domestic Policy Council director Melody Barnes, health care reform czar Nancy-ann DeParle and other White House officials engaged in a “frank discussion” with twelve representatives of the pro-abortion lobby.
While the White House kept the meeting under wraps, the tenor of the pro-abortion lobby's reaction to the Stupak amendment has been fierce, leaving little doubt that the President risks the antagonism of the abortion lobby if he fails to cooperate with removal of the amendment.
After the House passed the amended bill Saturday night, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards posted on her Facebook page that “the House let me down,” and urged use of the White House as “our strongest weapon” to prevent the same outcome in the Senate.
Terry O'Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, told ABC that President Obama should not “achieve that goal [of passing health care reform] by pushing women back into the back alleys to die.”