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Senate’s Weak Abortion Language Could Kill Obama Health Reform Bill

Published Wednesday, March 10, 2010 7:00 am
by Peter Roff

Though President Barack Obama and the White House would have people believe otherwise, the anti-abortion funding provisions included in the Senate-passed version of the healthcare bill are significantly weaker than the so-called "ironclad" prohibitions that Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak added to the bill in the House. The differences matter, so much so that Stupak and a handful of colleagues--enough to kill the Senate bill if it is brought up in the House--are threatening to vote 'No' unless the language to block federal funds from paying for abortions and abortion-related services is strengthened.
They have the votes to do it. The bill only passed by the barest of margins the first time. Now, Pelosi has to find four additional "aye" votes on top of her original majority because the only Republican to vote for the bill--Louisiana's Joseph Cao--has announced his opposition while three other votes in favor have been lost due to death or resignation from Congress.
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