A key pro-life Democrat in the House predicted on Tuesday a compromise on abortion restrictions in a final healthcare bill.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), the lawmaker who crafted the legislative language during the committee process on health reform, said he expects to strike a deal between his provisions and the more stringent rules on federal funding for abortions offered by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).

"At the end of the day we’re going to have a compromise that everybody’s going to be able to live with and we’ll get health care reform," Ryan told the Youngstown Business Journal in an interview.


Ryan, a self-identified pro-life Democrat, had helped draft language during the mark-up of the health bill that was eventually offered by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calf.). Some other Democrats viewed that language as not going far enough, leading to the Stupak amendment.

41 abortion-rights supporters in the House said they would vote against any final health bill maintaining the Stupak amendment's restrictions on federal funds for abortion.

Stupak, however, threatened to sink the bill in the House if his language is stripped in conference with the Senate bill.

Ryan said that the threats need not go that far, though, maintaining that a satisfactory deal on abortion funding is likely to be made during conference with the Senate.

"I think we'll be able to work it out," he said. "Obviously this came toward the end of passage of the House bill, so there wasn't enough time, I think, to have some dialogue. At the end of the day, there'll be a compromise that'll be struck."

"The bottom line to me is that this health reform package is a pro-life issue," the Ohio centrist added. "The bill as a whole is a pro-life bill, and we have to keep that in mind as we negotiate some of these tumultuous rapids."

Ryan did vote for the healthcare bill in the House during a rare Saturday session two weekends ago.