Speaker Nancy Pelosi put a fork in any speculation about changing the health care bill's abortion language to suit Bart Stupak's wishes to use health reform as a vehicle to humiliate women.
Speaking to reporters just off the House floor, Pelosi made clear she wouldn't allow votes on "anything," including abortion funding, the public option, or a single-payer system.Goodbye, Mr. Stupak. Hello, health care reform! This legislation preserves current law (and even goes beyond) to ensure there is no federal funding of abortions. Stupak had been exploiting the uncertainty over the vote counts on this history-making bill, and the Speaker has finally made her position clear. No more tinkering. Let's vote for health reform.
The speaker's words effectively rule out the prospect of a deal with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who has demanded, along with some allies, more stringent rules on federal support for insurance plan covering abortion.
Of course, this has the added benefit of making faux-progressive Jane Hamsher of the counter-progressive blog "Fire Dog Lake" look like the fool that she is. Last night, in her usual nature of hair-on-fire rants, Ms. Hamsher declared that an unnamed member of Congress - not aides, mind you, but a member of Congress - has told her that Pelosi had a made a deal with Stupak. "Stupak Abortion Language to Be Substituted for Senate Language in Deal to Secure Health Care Votes," the Hair on Fire dog lake lady asserted with absolute certainty. Then she posted the language of a Stupak bill that had been written for some time, but is not being used.
By the way, Ms. Hamsher, since you have been hammering House Pro-Choice caucus leader Diana Degette to release the names of 41 members who demanded that women's rights not be further restricted (than current law) through health care, would you please tell us who this mystery member of the House that you seem to have gotten completely false information from last night? That is, unless I'm right and this member is your imaginary friend and exists only in your head.