From NBC's Bobby Cervantes
Some 41 pro-choice House Democrats have signed on to a letter headed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk that states their intention to vote against a conference committee report if the Stupak-Pitts anti-abortion amendment remains as is, according to a draft of the letter obtained by Greg Sargent.
The amendment, which the House passed by a 240-to-196 vote on Saturday, calmed some conservative anti-abortion Democrats who worried federal funding would be provided for abortions in the Democratic health-care bill that passed late Saturday night.
As Members of Congress we believe that women should have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women's access to reproductive health services.
The Stupak-Pitts amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, represents an unprecedented and unacceptable restriction on women's ability to access the full range of reproductive health services to which they are lawfully entitled. We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women's right to choose any further than current law.
Many pro-choice Democrats, including Pelosi, made their opposition to the amendment clear during debate on Saturday. But they voted to pass the bill so the process could move along to the Senate, vowing to strip the amendment from any final legislation.
"There's going to be a firestorm here," Rep. Diana DeGette, a pro-choice Colorado Democrat, said. "We're not going to let this into law."
As a working copy of the letter is circulated around to more pro-choice House Democrats today, it's worth noting that if the 41 Democrats who are said to have already signed on follow through with Nay votes, it's enough to kill the bill.