From the Associated Press, July 21:

Democratic lawmakers opposed to federal funding for abortions said Tuesday the House leadership’s health care bill contains a “hidden mandate” that would allow taxpayer dollars to be used to end pregnancies.

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It’s the latest controversy to hit the health care overhaul in a week that has seen Republicans sharpen their attacks and some Democrats start to waver on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority….
“We cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan,” a group of 20 Democratic representatives said in a June 25 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA….

When the legislation was unveiled last week, it failed to include language abortion opponents were seeking. Now they are going public. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-MI, who helped draft the letter to Pelosi, plans to join lawmakers of both parties Wednesday at a news conference to criticize the legislation….

From CBS News, tonight:
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The moderate Blue Dog Democrats and a group of freshmen Democrats have already rankled the House leadership with their objections to the chamber’s health care reform bill. Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the leaders in the reform effort have one more contingent to deal with. Democrats who oppose abortion rights are more vocally raising objections to what they call a “hidden abortion mandate” in health care legislation….
Democrats and Republicans opposed to abortion rights have requested the explicit exclusion of abortion services from that benefits package so that taxpayer dollars will not fund abortions.
On Wednesday, House Democrat Bart Stupak of MI and Republican Joe Pitts of PA, the co-chairmen of the Pro-Life Caucus, will hold a press conference on the so-called “abortion mandate.” Later in the day, Stupak will discuss the issue on’s Washington Unplugged….

[Top graphic attribution: CBS News; bottom graphic attribution: Sun Sentinel]

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