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Anti-Woman Amendment to Health Care Passes House

The Stupak amendment -- an anti-choice measure that could virtually eliminate insurance coverage for abortion -- will be attached to the health-care reform bill.

After a spirited debate on the floor of the House of Representatives, the anti-choice amendment to the Democrats' health-care reform bill offered by Representatives Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and Joe Pitts, R-Penn., passed by a vote of 240-194, with one member, Rep. John Shaddegg, R-Ariz., voting "present." Both Stupak and Pitts are members of the secretive Capitol Hill religious group known as The Family.

The House will vote shortly on the Pelosi health-care reform bill, with the amendment attached. House leaders agreed to let Stupak offer the amendment after conservative Democrats balked at voting for a health-care bill that did not pass muster with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, despite the bill's provision barring public funds from being used to pay for abortions. In order to get to the 218 votes required to pass health-care reform, House leaders felt the need to provide cover for Democrats from conservative districts.




Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington editor.