Last-Minute Abortion Deal in the Works?

Yesterday, I predicted the abortion issue would end as the epic battle that never was. In the appropriately unpredictable nature of the abortion issue in health-care reform, turns out I could be completely wrong.

From what I can gather, there is some deal currently in the works with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and a few of his colleagues, who are indeed holding the line on their abortion language. Here's what we know, via Jeffrey Young and Molly Hooper over at The Hill: a number of abortion-rights supporters have been shuffling in and out of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. Young caught Diana DeGette, a strong supporter of abortion rights who has played a role in the negotiations over the health-care language, on her way out of Pelosi's office; she told him she was not "happy." Stupak told Hooper (who had spotted him and Pelosi talking a little earlier) that the Democrats "don't have the votes, or they wouldn't be talking to me." Adding to the intrigue: earlier this afternoon, Democrat Brad Ellsworth, a staunch abortion-rights opponent, signed on as a yes vote. LifeSiteNews, an anti-abortion-rights Web site, is reporting that "Stupak I've reached out to a few organizations that support abortion rights but have yet to hear anything back.

Meanwhile, Stupak earlier this evening announced an 11 a.m. Saturday press conference with very little detail—in explaining why the press conference was happening, all we reporters got was that they would "discuss health-care-reform legislation." I don't know, at this point, why Stupak would call a press conference to wave a white flag. So stay tuned for some potential last-minute health-care-reform drama.