Veteran Democratic Rep. John Dingell vowed Saturday to work to defeat fellow Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak (D) on abortion in the healthcare bill.

Dingell, the longest-serving member of the House whose career has centered around healthcare reform, said he would work to "beat" Stupak's efforts to add additional restrictions on federal support for abortion to the healthcare bill before the House. 


"I strongly disagree with Bart," Dingell said during an appearance on MSNBC. "I think he's wrong."

Stupak and a bloc of Democrats who oppose abortion rights had been wrangling with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders on Friday night to add additional provisions to the health bill that would add rules restricting federal subsidies under the plan from going to subsidize purchasing plans that cover abortion services.

After Democrats had appeared set to press forward with their bill without Stupak and his allies, the leadership appeared to backtrack on Friday. The move angered members of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, and appeared to reflect just how close the final vote count has been breaking down for Pelosi and Democrats.

"I'm going to try to show him the error of his ways, and I'm also going to try to see to it that we beat him on this," Dingell said on MSNBC. "Because this is a matter of the utmost humanitarian and economic concern to this nation."

The House has reconvened for the morning, and Stupak has scheduled a press conference on the Capitol for 11 a.m., in which he's expected to address the latest on his abortion-related negotiations.