Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan is a rarity among Democrats — one who believes the federal government shouldn’t pay for abortions. When President Obama told a joint session of Congress in September that “under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions,” Stupak wondered how that was possible when both the House and Senate bills allow federal funding of insurance plans that cover abortions.
In speaking with the president about this apparent contradiction, Stupak found it’s only the (unwritten) health care reform plan in Obama’s mind that doesn’t fund abortions. Unfortunately, the bill the president would sign is one of those thousand-plus page behemoths circulating through both houses of Congress — or a combination of both.
Stupak wanted to add a prohibition similar to the longstanding Hyde Amendment preventing funding of abortions to the House bill but was told by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “I will not have my amendment.” Instead, placed in the House plan was a “compromise” where just one provider in each state’s insurance exchange is required to cover abortions. Some compromise.