The pro-life American majority, and hundreds of thousands of unborn children, are counting on the remaining self-labeled "pro-life" Democrats to hold firm for Sunday's historic House vote on health care, said the head of a leading anti-abortion group Saturday.
As a handful of self-labeled "pro-life" Democratic members of Congress announced their support for the current Health Care reform legislation, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser insisted that any member of Congress who votes for the "pro-abortion" legislation can no longer call themselves "pro-life."
"Support for the Senate version of healthcare flies in the face of all pro-life principles," said Dannenfelser in a statement. "A vote in favor of this healthcare bill will be a vote for abortion and against Life. There is no middle ground."
On Sunday, the chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House said his party has the 216 votes needed to pass President Barack Obama's health care bill – a claim that no other leader in the Democratic House has yet made.
"We have the votes now - as we speak," Connecticut Rep. John Larson said, speaking on ABC's "This Week."
According to the latest count, however, all 178 Republicans and at least two dozen Democrats are still vowing to vote no, and the roughly 20 Democrats who hold the fate of the legislation in their hands remained uncommitted late Saturday.
Congress, Washington and the nation have been divided by the question of whether the Senate health care bill allows for tax dollars to pay for elective abortion.
While some have touted the health care bill as being pro-life on many fronts and say it does not provide federal funding for abortion, others insist that the health care bill does include federal funding of abortion, fails to protect consciences, and creates numerous abortion mandates.
In an announcement Saturday, the Susan B. Anthony List referred to comments made by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who explained on a March 4 appearance on Good Morning America exactly where the health care bill includes federal funding of abortion.
"If you go to Page 2069 through Page 2078 [of the Senate bill], you will find in there the federal government would directly subsidize abortions, plus every enrollee in the Office of Personnel Management-enrolled plan, every enrollee has to pay a minimum of one dollar per month toward reproductive rights, which includes abortions," the pro-life Democrat stated.
Stupak, who is leading a band of pro-life House Democrats who threaten to oppose the bill because of the abortion issue, said his group wants the Senate version to add language similar to the House's Stupak-Pitts amendment, which clearly bans tax dollars from paying for abortion.
"My group of 12 [Democrats] here can make the difference on this vote," he said Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America."
After months of debate, members of the U.S. House are scheduled to vote on a compromise health care reform bill in a rare Sunday session.
More than a year in the making, the legislation would extend coverage to an estimated 32 million uninsured, bar insurers from denying coverage on the basis of existing medical conditions and cut federal deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade.
The cost of the two bills combined, however, would be $940 billion over a decade, according to estimates by congressional analysts.