Add Congressman Dan Lipinski of Illinois to the coalition of pro-life Democrats standing firmly with Bart Stupak in the fight over taxpayer-funding of abortion in the health care bill. Asked if the congressman is "open to voting for a health care bill that lacks the Stupak amendment," Lipinski's spokesman Nathaniel Zimmer replied in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD: "No. Congressman Lipinski will not vote for a health care bill that provides federal funding for abortion."
In addition to Stupak and Lipinski, Congressman Jim Oberstar of Minnesota has said that he will not vote for the health care bill if it lacks the Stupak amendment: "I will not vote for a health care bill that doesn't have the House abortion language in it," Oberstar told Congressional Quarterly on February 24.
What's interesting about the emphatic opposition of Stupak, Lipinski, and Oberstar is that they are all liberals who easily won reelection in 2008. That year, Stupak had a 90% liberal rating from Americans for Democratic Action and a 32-point margin of victory; Oberstar had an 80% ADA rating and a 36-point margin of victory; and Lipinski had a 90% ADA rating and a 52-point margin of victory. (Update: It's worth pointing out that the National Journal places Stupak and Lipinski in the center; different organizations obviously have different formulas.)
In other words, their opposition is based on principle, not in fear that they might lose reelection. Their electoral security has left Stupak, Oberstar, and Lipinski free to vote their consciences. How many other pro-life Democrats will join them?