As disturbing as the trade-in of abortion rights for healthcare reform is, it now looks like House Democrats won't let abortion coverage go down without a fight.
As Members of Congress we believe that women should have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women's access to reproductive health services.
The Stupak-Pitts amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, represents an unprecedented and unacceptable restriction on women's ability to access the full range of reproductive health services to which they are lawfully entitled. We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women's right to choose any further than current law.
For those of you who (like me, initially) are confused about how this extremely complicated and at times disheartening process works, what happens now is that the Senate needs to pass its own version of the healthcare bill, and then the two houses of Congress must hash out a single version in conference committee. That version needs to be approved by the House and Senate — and 41 House Dems say they won't vote for it unless what Latoya aptly calls the Stupid-Shits Amendment, which would prohibit women who receive government subsidies from buying abortion coverage even with their own money, is removed. As Sargent points out, their language is "unequivocal, with no wiggle room." And Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (video above) pledges that the Stupak Amendment will be gone from the bill when it comes back from committee. Sargent says it will be difficult for the letter's signatories to back away from their position now. He explains,