Stage set for Senate stalemate on abortion in healthcare

The Huffington Post reported today:

barbara boxer, abortion, healthcare, stupak.jpg

One of Congress's foremost champions of abortion rights said on Monday that the Senate did not have the votes to add a more restrictive anti-abortion amendment to health care reform legislation.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said that 60 votes would be needed to strip the current health care bill of its abortion-related language and replace it with a version resembling that passed by the House.... And... [she] predicted that pro-choice forces in the Senate would keep that from happening....

But Politico reported November 9...

ben nelson, healthcare, abortion, stupak.jpg

Abortion threatened to derail a House health reform bill Saturday, and now it's standing in the way of Reid's attempts to get 60 votes as well, with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) saying he wants to see language as restrictive as the House's in the Senate bill.

If the language isn't clear in prohibiting federal funds for abortion, "you could be sure I would vote against it," said Nelson, who met with Reid on Monday.

So their side is saying we don't have 60 votes to include a Stupak/Pitts-type amendment in the Senate, and our side is saying they don't have 60 votes to pass a healthcare bill without it.

tom coburn, healthcare, abortion, stupak.jpgI spoke with Michael Schwartz, Chief of Staff to Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK, pictured right) this morning, and he confirmed the stalemate.

"We have a very good shot of defeating this bill - the whole bill - in the Senate," Schwartz said. "A stalemate means we win. We've got a big fight ahead of us, but it is a winnable fight."

I asked Schwartz if there were any Stupaks in the Senate, willing to fight against abortion in healthcare to the end. He confirmed Nelson is the only one.

"Such a bill might pick up 5 or 6 Democrat votes," said Schwartz. "But most Democrats in the Senate are so beholden to the abortion lobby they couldn't vote for this - and so are some Republicans."

What about Bob Casey?

bob casey, healthcare, abortion, stupak.jpg"Casey is sincerely pro-life," said Schwartz. "But he is so in favor of socialized medicine he'd hold his nose and vote for the bill without abortion exclusions."

But, Schwartz added, "Casey would definitely offer a Stupak amendment if he thought it would help pass the bill."

Which we don't want. We want to stop this in the Senate. Nevertheless, if such were to happen, the abortion hot potato would go back to the House, where Schwartz is confident Nancy Pelosi has promised pro-aborts she'll strip out Stupak/Pitts.

diana degette, albortion, healthcare, stupak.jpgWhich brings us back to Stupak, who has warned Pelosi not to "double-cross" him, or "there will be 40 people who won't vote with them the next time they need us--and that could be the final version of this bill."

Which brings us back to another stalemate, since CO pro-abort Rep. Diana DeGette (pictured right) has sent a letter to Pelosi stating 40 pro-aborts won't vote for a final version of heathcare if it retains the Stupak/Pitts amendment.

[Photo of Boxer via HuffPo; photo of Nelson via wdcpix]


Comments:

Anyone up for Abortion Ping Pong?

Posted by: carder at November 11, 2009 11:07 AM


Hatch and Liberman both said they would filibuster ANY bill with a public option. To me that solves our problem. No public option, run by the government, no government paid abortion.

Bayh and Nelson (both Dems) also have said they would join a Rep. filibuster.

Posted by: Kristen at November 11, 2009 11:31 AM


Very informative post, Jill. Thanks for keeping us informed. Now I know how to pray and how to conduct dialogues on other forums.

Posted by: Gina M. Danaher at November 11, 2009 11:32 AM


Gina, thanks very much!

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at November 11, 2009 11:37 AM


Hi Jill,

Indeed an excellent post. I would still caution PLs to remain cautious and unconvinced until this is all a done deed. Too much can happen, minds can change, arms can be twisted, deals can be made, and people can just flat out lie.

PLs must always remember the two most important rules of love, war, and politics:

1.NEVER underestimate your opposition
2.NEVER expect, or predict, a quick and easy victory

Posted by: Mary at November 11, 2009 11:57 AM


Mary, may I add a 3rd to your list?

3.NEVER assume what's at the forefront of debate is the root of the problem.

If the Dems had passed a bill that targets the uninsured and uninsurable instead of overreaching to control everyone's insurance, they wouldn't be at an impasse. Focusing the debate between two camps with irreconcilable differences distracts from the power grab that sparked the funding issue in the first place.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 11, 2009 12:25 PM


Yes, Mary is absolutely right.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at November 11, 2009 12:25 PM


As I posted in another thread, the democrats are destroying themselves.

In a way I would like to see the Republicans just get out of the way and let the Dems do this, but for the abortion issue it's much to important. I agree with what Mary has said.

Posted by: Joanne at November 11, 2009 12:54 PM


Thanks Jill, Mary and Fed Up. This bill is not about healthcare or helping the poor or the uninsured. It is about POWER, CONTROL, LIFE AND DEATH DECISIONS OVER AMERICAN CITIZENS, CONTROLLING 1/6TH OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, TRANSFORMING AMERICA AND ABORTION ON DEMAND. The pro-aborts are showing their hand in a way that we could not have imagined and proving that God is indeed exposing our enemy, death and darkness.

Posted by: Prolifer L at November 11, 2009 1:14 PM


MS DeGette promotes destroying the innocent at
every opportunity.

Her biggest pet project is to cannibalize human embryos
to seek a cure for her child's diabetes.

Pray that she will see the humanity of other's children
as much as she does her own.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/.../AR2007060602347.html

Posted by: Leslie Hanks at November 11, 2009 8:17 PM


"Which we don't want."

Speak for yourself, Jill. Pro-lifers should not be opposing a Senate version of the Stupak Amendment, in hopes of killing health care reform altogether. Does your right-wing ideology trump your committment to defending the unborn?

Posted by: HuckFinn at November 16, 2009 12:08 PM