Democratic leaders have been able to pick off members of the anti-abortion-rights bloc Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) claimed to have, the congressman said Friday.
In an interview with the conservative National Review Online, Stupak confirmed reports that Democratic leaders had decided to proceed on healthcare legislation without adding more stringent restrictions on federal funding going to support health plans that cover abortion.
But the Michigan Democrat, who claimed he had carried with him a dozen votes against the healthcare bill, suggested that his bloc of votes may be cracking, providing Democratic leaders with valuable votes for their pending healthcare measures.
"At this point, there is no doubt that they’ve been able to peel off one or two of my twelve," he said. "The others are having both of their arms twisted, and we’re all getting pounded by our traditional Democratic supporters, like unions.”
Stupak said he would definitely vote against the bill, which adds to the growing whip count on the bill.
The congressman also questioned whether Democrats who oppose abortion rights would feel comfortable in the party going forward, though he said he would not leave the Democratic Party.