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Pelosi: No separate abortion vote on health care

10:06 AM, Mar 21, 2010   |    comments
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Washington (CNN) - Just a day before the health care bill was expected to go up for a House vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Saturday there would be no separate vote on restricting taxpayer funding for abortion.

"Not on abortion, not on abortion, not on public option, not on single payer, not on anything," Pelosi told CNN.

The speaker was responding to a question about a request by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, for the House to vote on his language restricting taxpayer funding for abortion.

Stupak postponed a news conference Saturday, and did not immediately comment on the issue.

On Friday, he told CNN he was in talks with Pelosi, D-California.

"We had a good discussion with the speaker on the floor," said Stupak.

"But there was no agreement and there's no agreement until we see it in writing and we get a chance to massage it."

His call for a vote was staunchly opposed by a group of female abortion-rights Democrats who also met with Pelosi on Friday.

Reps. Lynn Woolsey, D-California, and Donna Edwards, D-Maryland, on Saturday said there would be no deal on Stupak's request, adding that they would bolt from the bill if such language were tied to it.

A senior Democratic source told CNN that party leaders are suggesting to Stupak that another option would be for the president to sign an executive order that would restate the long-standing ban on public funding for abortion.

When asked by a reporters whether such an order would mollify anti-abortion Democrats, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer responded, "I'm hopeful."


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