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Stupak: Opportunist Pro-Lifers Only Supported Me to Kill Health Reform

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich) goes on the attack today against the anti-abortion folks who’ve accused him of folding on abortion restrictions in the Democrats’ health reform bills. From a Washington Post op-ed:

The pro-life groups rallied behind me — many without my knowledge or consent — not necessarily because they shared my goals of ensuring protections for life and passing health-care reform but because they viewed me as their best chance to kill health-care legislation.

Stupak also claims that House Democrats would have had the votes to pass the bill even if he and other anti-abortion Democrats had voted against it — a claim that might come as news to House Democratic leaders, who were under the impression that getting the Stupak coalition on board was the only way to pass the bill.

Once it was clear that the House leadership would eventually obtain the 216 votes necessary to pass health-care reform, I was left with a choice: vote against the bill and watch it become law with no further protections for life or reach an agreement that prevents federal funding for abortions.

The agreement he’s referring to, of course, resulted in the executive order issued by President Obama reiterating the federal ban on abortion funding — a move that critics have criticized as meaningless. Stupak defends it:

No, an executive order is not as strong as the statutory language we fought for at the start. We received, however, an “ironclad” commitment from the president that no taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for abortions.

There. He’s said his peace, and the bill is law. Now let’s all please move on.

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