From ABC News this afternoon, refreshing that Tapper used the word “liberal”:
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White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and Domestic Policy Council director Melody Barnes, health care reform czar Nancy-ann DeParle and other WH officials met with a dozen officials from liberal women’s and abortion right’s groups this afternoon where they had a “frank exchange,” in the words of one attendee….

The subject of the meeting was the amendment added to the House Democrats’ health care reform bill… by Reps. Bart Stupak, D-MI, and Joe Pitts, R-PA….

feminist, liberal, healthcare, abortion, stupak.jpgAttendees included representatives from NOW, Planned Parenthood… NARAL… EMILY’s List, the Feminist Majority, the National Women’s Law Center, the Guttmacher Institute, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the National Latina Reproductive Health Institute, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, and the National Partnership for Women and Families.

The White House sought to downplay the meeting, with spokesman Reid Cherlin saying in a statement, “As part of our ongoing outreach surrounding health insurance reform, staff met with today with representatives of the women’s rights community. Staff will also be meeting in coming days with leaders from communities of faith and other groups involved in the effort.

Us, to be fair? After all, didn’t Obama tell ABC’s Jake Tapper only the other day he wants to make sure “neither side feels that it’s being betrayed”? And as an aside, wow, there must have been a lot of testosterone in that room.
And then there was this in Politico, also this afternoon:
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Abortion-rights advocates are calling in the cavalry to help fight off an anti-abortion provision House Democratic leaders swallowed in order to win passage of their health care reform bill.
Laurie Rubiner, vice president of policy for the PP, said… [this] “has completely galvanized the reproductive health community and the women’s community.”
On Tuesday, PP summoned 80 progressive groups to plot strategy for keeping the anti-abortion amendment… out of a final health care bill.
If that doesn’t work, Plan B is to rely on progressives in the House to vote against a bill containing the language. 41 House Democrats threatened to do just that in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)….
But the first battlefield is in the Senate…. It’s still not entirely clear whether [Majority Leader Harry] Reid, who has a mixed record on abortion and a tough reelection bid next year, will include the Stupak/Pitts provision or if abortion foes will have to try to amend it in. Either way, there is likely to be a vote on the issue on the Senate floor, forcing socially conservative Democrats to pick sides.
They are already starting to get pressure from a coalition of abortion-rights advocates and their allies in the progressive movement.
The PP meeting included representatives of influential liberal organizations like the SEIU,, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for American Progress, according to a list provided to Politico.
NARAL… plans to “patch through” calls from activists in 17 states to their senators’ offices next week…. The group’s online petition to Reid collected 30k signatures in less than 24 hours, and an e-mail campaign from the group’s grass roots to lawmakers is due to start soon, according to an official.

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NOW chapter leaders are making appointments with individual senators. In the meantime, 53 activists showed up to picket Senate offices in the Dirksen Building earlier this week, according to NOW President Terry O’Neill.
With so much on the line, the abortion-rights activists recognize that they have to mobilize quickly and forcefully to counteract Pelosi’s decision to give the anti-abortion lawmakers what they wanted in exchange for their accession to passing the bill.
Although abortion rights groups worked hard to give Democrats the majorities in the House and the Senate – not to mention the WH itself – they’re reluctant to call Pelosi’s decision a betrayal.
“That’s water under the bridge,” said Nancy Keenan, head of NARAL….
Now, they’re focused on ensuring that the Senate doesn’t adopt the same language, which would make it very difficult to keep the provision out of a House-Senate conference agreement because Senate rules strongly favor retaining language adopted by both chambers….
Kim Gandy, a Harvard University Institute of Politics fellow who is the immediate past president of NOW, said she thinks her side will prevail.
“My sense is [Pelosi] made the only decision she could,” Gandy said. “It’s not a sacrifice yet, and I don’t think it will be.”
Still, the abortion-rights groups have a fight on their hands, and Democratic leaders – faced with enough threatened defections to kill the bill in the House if they choose either side – have many strategic decisions left ahead on the abortion issue if they hope to enact a health care reform bill in this Congress.
Senators, including Reid, are in for an earful.
“It was a wake-up call across the country,” Keenan said.

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