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House Votes Down GOP Motion on Abortion

Updated: March 22, 8:23 a.m.

House Republicans tried tossing up one more procedural obstacle to the health care overhaul bill by forcing a vote explicitly banning abortion, but the motion was rejected Sunday night on a 232-199 vote. Twenty-one Democrats joined 178 Republicans in support of the motion.

The GOP move came hours after Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who had originally drafted the anti-abortion language, announced his support for the health care overhaul after striking a deal with Democrats and the White House. House Republicans have maintained that President Barack Obama’s plan to issue an executive order ensuring taxpayer funds aren’t used to fund abortions would not, in fact, prevent federal funding for the procedure.

Stupak’s language was included in the House version of the health care reform bill passed late last year.

However, Stupak urged Democrats to vote against the motion, calling the Republican-sponsored measure a “last-ditch effort of 98 years of denying Americans health care.”

As Stupak spoke, a person on the Republican side of the chamber shouted “baby killer!”

Roll Call could not immediately confirm the identity of the individual.

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) said some members knew who shouted but they were keeping mum. Campbell said he didn’t know who shouted.

Jennifer Bendery contributed to this report.

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