By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, DC, March 15, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As members of the Obama administration continue to deny that the Senate health bill contains funding for abortion, the leader of the pro-life House Democrats has asserted once more that, in private conversation, leaders of the party have admitted that the bill is intended to fund abortion.
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) described to FOX News last week a spat he says he had with Rep. Henry Waxman, the Democrat Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, over Stupak's proposed abortion funding ban.
“I gave [Waxman] the language. He came back a little while later and said, 'But we want to pay for abortions,'” said Stupak. “I said, 'Mr. Chairman, that's – we disagree. We don't do it now, we're not going to start.'
Stupak said Waxman replied, “But we think we should.”
“I said, 'Well, I'm sorry but the House has spoken. We had that debate. We won 240-190. You forced the vote, a vote we won fair and square and we're not gonna – this is what it is,” said Stupak. “If you want to move health care keep current law.'”
However, while Democrat leaders continue to block Stupak's pro-life provision – which is modeled after the Hyde amendment – they simultaneously claim that the legislation is subject to the existing Hyde amendment anyway, a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by the National Right to Life Committee and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The New York Times published Sunday what it claimed was an “internal Health and Human Services memo” insisting that the Hyde amendment, which bans abortion funding except in cases if rape or incest, would apply.
“The President and Secretary Sebelius have repeatedly stated their strong commitment to ensuring that health insurance reform does not change the status quo on abortion policy,” stated the memo. “In the health insurance reform legislation pending in Congress, the status quo is maintained: There is no federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.”
Although it is generally believed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet switched enough “no” votes to pass the measure, the White House is hoping to push the bill through the House by March 18. Pelosi has continued to express confidence that Democrats are “on the verge of making history.”
Because a final health vote may be imminent, the National Right to Life Committee has sent out a legislative action alert urging pro-lifers to contact legislators once more to oppose the bill.