Pro-life Dems sound pessimistic about fixing abortion language in health care

Jon Ward Contributor
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Two pro-life House Democrats did not sound optimistic Thursday about the prospects for reaching a compromise on abortion language in the health care bill.

Rep. Bart Stupak, mobbed by reporters on his way into a meeting of House Democrats to examine parts of the bill, was asked if he will require a guarantee that the Senate fix the language if the House passes it.

“There is no guarantees in this town,” Stupak said.

“We continue discussions,” he said. “I can’t predict if it’s going to be worked out.”

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, the Illinois Democrat who is part of Stupak’s dozen pro-lifers, sounded even less optimistic.

Lipinski said he did not think abortion could be fixed in a reconciliation piece of legislation, which is restricted to budgetary matters. And he said that if there is not a guarantee that the Senate will fix it in a separate bill, he is a firm no.

Lipinski was specifically asked whether a guarantee for a vote on the language every year for the next few years would suffice, and he said no.