Anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak, of the notorious Stupak-Pitts amendment, says that he will block health care reform altogether if his ban on abortion coverage is taken out of the legislation.
In an interview on NPR’s “Tell Me More,” pro-choice Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) says that the Stupak-Pitts amendment goes much further than current restrictions on federal funding for abortion care.
The leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops defends the group’s lobbying efforts to include the abortion coverage ban in health care legislation.
Politico looks at the ways in which the Catholic Bishops and anti-choice politicians have been successful at implementing “mini-Hyde Amendments,” banning abortion coverage for federal employees, members of the military, Native American women served by the Indian Health Service, women in federal prisons and Peace Corps volunteers. The Hyde Amendment bans federal funds from going toward abortion care. With the current health care reform legislation, the article asserts that the bishops and their congressional allies are continuing this strategy, but with even higher stakes.
The Democratic primary race for the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat is centered on the candidates’ differing views of how to vote on health care reform with the Stupak-Pitts amendment attached. All of the candidates support the right to choose, but Martha Coakley, the state attorney general, has said that she would oppose final passage with the abortion coverage ban included.
RH Reality Check’s Jodi Jacobsen takes issue with the New York Times’ reporting on the effects of the Stupak-Pitts amendment.
The number of people on the wait list for Washington’s Basic Health Plan is expected to surpass the number of people actually enrolled in the program for the first time ever.
The March of Dimes has found that the Pacific Northwest has among the lowest premature-birth rates in the nation, although there is still room for improvement.
The New York Times editorial board urges the Obama administration and the Senate to pick up the pace on judicial nominations and confirmations in order to shift the balance away from the right-wing appointments made by George W. Bush.
The Washington Post editorial board likewise criticizes the slow judicial confirmation process, and accuses Republicans, who railed against Democratic attempts to block confirmation votes during the Bush administration, of hypocrisy as they put the brakes on President Obama’s appointments.
Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions will attempt to filibuster today’s confirmation vote on the nomination of Judge David Hamilton to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The filibuster is unlikely to succeed because at least one Republican supports the nomination. Sessions was strongly opposed to Democratic filibuster threats during the Bush administration.