On Saturday, Nov. 7, The US House of Representatives approved the Stupak amendment to the health care reform bill. This was a stunning development, as it was not expected that the Stupak amendment would even be allowed a vote. However, as debate on the bill approached, it became clear to the House leadership that they did not have enough votes to pass the health care reform bill without at least allowing a vote on the Stupak amendment.
The Stupak amendment would prevent federal funding of abortion by applying existing prohibitions to the new health care program contemplated in the health care reform legislation. After passage of the Stupak amendment by a vote of 240-194, the health care reform bill itself was narrowly approved 220-215. The Senate will now consider its over version of the bill.