Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus and a leader of efforts to defeat the Stupak Amendment in the House health care reform bill last Saturday is now collecting signatures of House members who are vowing to vote against reform unless the language is stripped.
The effort began on Saturday after the vote and 40 members signed on immediately, including Congresswoman Lois Capps whose original amendment was supposed to be the compromise on abortion language propelling the bill forward.
Now DeGette is spearheading a broader effort to collect signatures on the letter. She also has requested a meeting with the White House.
"Phones are ringing off the hook in our office," said DeGette Chief of Staff Lisa Cohen. "People are absolutely furious about this and we are getting more calls on this than we have on any other issue before."
The Hill reports:
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) vowed that she and at least 40 other
Democrats supporting abortion rights would vote against any final
health bill containing the amendment on abortion rights offered by Rep.
Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), and said she would take her case against the
provision to the White House.
"I would expect that we would go over to the White House next week —
and we’re going to tell the president the same thing we’re telling the
speaker," she said during an apperance on MSNBC.
"Frankly, the women of
America should be furious because this just does not say no federal
funding for abortion, this says women cannot use their own money to buy
an insurance policy that would include a legal medical procedure,"
DeGette said during an appearance on MSNBC. DeGette has circulated a letter amongst colleagues to gather support for removing the Stupak amendment.
large group of us are saying that if this language is contained in the
conference report, then we will not vote for the conference report,"
she added. "So it needs to be stripped out in the conference."
Colorado congresswoman, who is a co-chairwoman of the Congressional
Pro-Choice Caucus, said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
sympathized with the abortion rights supporters, but decided to move
forward in the interests of the overall bill.