The way I feel about this is probably akin to how Thomas Jefferson felt when the anti-slavery clause was stricken from the Declaration of Independen
November 7, 2009

The way I feel about this is probably akin to how Thomas Jefferson felt when the anti-slavery clause was stricken from the Declaration of Independence in order to get enough votes to pass.

Stupak probably doesn't have the votes will be joined by the Republicans and will probably get his amendment passed. Again, I ask: Why does someone's personal religious beliefs get to infringe on mine or anyone else's rights? Abortion is legal, in case anyone forgot.

WASHINGTON — The House opened debate on its health-care bill Saturday after Democratic leaders agreed to allow a vote on an amendment from antiabortion Democrats.

The agreement early Saturday could break a stalemate over abortion that was threatening the bill's prospects.

If the House approves the bill, it would be the first time a chamber of Congress has passed legislation aimed at guaranteeing near-universal access to health care.

A final vote on the health measure could come late Saturday or early Sunday morning. House Democratic leaders were still scrambling to come up with the 218 votes needed to pass the bill, and aides predicted the vote would be a cliffhanger.

[...] Abortion has divided Democrats, with antiabortion lawmakers saying they couldn't allow any federal funding of abortion under the new health-insurance exchanges the bill would establish.

Rep. Bart Stupak, an antiabortion Democrat from Michigan, explained his amendment before the House Rules Committee just after midnight Saturday. He said it provides that federal subsidies cannot be used to purchase a health plan including coverage for abortions other than in cases of rape or incest.

The amendment from Mr. Stupak and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.) is set to come before the full House for a vote later Saturday.

The concession to allow a vote is significant because House Democrats aren't allowing votes on any other substantive amendments, save one Republican amendment that is an alternative to the Democrats' plan.

Here's what the amendment does, as USAToday noted:

Nearly 90% of private health insurance policies now offer abortion coverage, and almost half of women with private insurance have it. But women covered under the new system would have to find supplemental insurance or pay out of pocket for an unanticipated procedure that can cost from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on complexity. For anyone unable to afford it, this would amount to a de facto ban.

But here's the catch: The bill makes it so financially unattractive for insurance companies to offer abortion coverage - even if you pay for the insurance yourself - that they're likely to stop offering it except to the largest groups. Got it? This is not a minor amendment.

And unless it's rejected by the Senate or in conference, women have once again been stripped of the ability to get abortions.

Time to hit the phones. Got this today from a Hill source:

Leans pro-choice but needs shoring up

Arcuri (D, NY-24)

Bean (D, IL-08)

Bishop, S. (D, GA-02)

Boswell (D, IA-03)

Butterfield (D, NC-01)

Cardoza (D, CA-18)

Chandler (D, KY-06)

Cooper (D, TN-05)

Costa (D, CA-20)

Doyle (D, PA-14)

Edwards, C. (D, TX-17)

Etheridge (D, NC-02)

Gordon (D, TN-06)

Kratovil (D, MD-01)

Langevin (D, RI-02)

McMahon (D, NY-13)

Michaud (D, ME-02)

Minnick (D, ID-01)

Neal (D, MA-02)

Nye (D, VA-02)

Obey (D, WI-07)

Owens (D, NY-23)

Ruppersberger (D, MD-02)

Ryan, T. (D, OH-17)

Salazar (D, CO-03)

Space (D, OH-18)


Biggert (R, IL-13)

Carney (D, PA-10)

Castle (R, DE-AL)

Cuellar (D, TX-28)

Davis, A. (D, AL-07)

Dent (R, PA-15)

Ellsworth (D, IN-08)

Frelinghuysen (R, NJ-11)

Kirk (R, IL-10)

Lynch (D, MA-09)

Pomeroy (D, ND-AL)

Snyder (D, AR-02)

Tanner (D, TN-08)

Visclosky (D, IN-01)

Leaning anti-choice

Altmire (D, PA-04)

Barrow (D, GA-12)

Berry (D, AR-01)

Boccieri (D, OH-16)

Bright (D, AL-02)

Capito (R, WV-02)

Donnelly (D, IN-02)

Hill (D, IN-09)

Jenkins (R, KS-02)

Kildee (D, MI-05)

Lance (R, NJ-07)

Lee, C. (R, NY-26)

Matheson (D, UT-02)

Mollohan (D, WV-01)

Ortiz (D, TX-27)

Paulsen (R, MN-03)

Perriello (D, VA-05)

Rahall (D, WV-03)

Ross (D, AR-04)

Spratt (D, SC-05)

Wilson, C. (D, OH-06)

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