(Adds White House comment)
WASHINGTON, March 4 A dozen House of
Representatives Democrats opposed to abortion are willing to
kill President Barack Obama's healthcare reform plan unless it
satisfies their demand for language barring the procedure,
Representative Bart Stupak said on Thursday.
"Yes. We're prepared to take responsibility," Stupak said
on ABC's "Good Morning America" when asked if he and his 11
Democratic allies were willing to accept the consequences for
bringing down healthcare reform over abortion.
"Let's face it. I want to see healthcare. But we're not
going to bypass the principles of belief that we feel strongly
about," he said.
Take a Look on healthcare [ID:nHEALTH]
The Michigan Democrat held up House legislation last year
until he was satisfied that its language prevented federal tax
dollars from being used to fund abortions.
No specific legislation has yet surfaced. Obama began a
final push for reform on Wednesday, urging Congress to vote on
the plan in the next few weeks even if it means passing the
measure with a narrow Democratic majority and no Republican
The White House says it does not intend its bill to change
current U.S. law on abortion, and does not believe that the
Senate healthcare bill, which Obama's plan resembles, would
change the status quo.
"The president is not and will not change current federal
law in dealing with abortions and healthcare," spokesman Robert
Gibbs said at his daily news briefing on Thursday.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius,
Obama's top adviser on health issues, said the White House was
prepared to bar the use of federal money for abortion. "This
will not change the status quo on the policy of abortion. There
will be no federal funding for abortion," she said on the
Stupak said anti-abortion lawmakers are worried that the
legislative language will follow the blueprint of the reform
bill passed by the Senate, which he said does not provide
(Reporting by David Morgan, additional reporting by
Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Philip Barbara)