The stated number-one priority for Democrats is passage of a government takeover of American health-care. President Obama and his allies in Congress have essentially bet the future of their party on securing something radical and sweeping. Congressional leaders have set aside everything else until they can pass some version of Obamacare, and they have pledged to do whatever is necessary — taxpayers beware — to reach their goal.
But there’s apparently one thing most Democrats aren’t willing to do, even if it jeopardizes their health-care ambitions. And that’s back down on their unwavering commitment to abortion radicalism.
For months, pro-life Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak has warned Democratic leaders that he and a sizeable bloc of like-minded colleagues would vote against the Democratic health-care bill in the House if it didn’t clearly and unambiguously preclude taxpayer funding of elective abortions in a reformed system of subsidized health insurance.
This should be a no-brainer for House Democratic leaders. Giving Rep. Stupak what he wants — which is a clean vote on a no-funding-for-abortion amendment — would remove one more roadblock on their way to the nirvana of government-run health insurance.
But Speaker Pelosi apparently sees a big problem with that approach, which is that Rep. Stupak would very likely win, perhaps cementing for good in permanent law a strong prohibition against taxpayer funding of abortions in a national health-care plan. To abortion radicals, that’s simply too much to stomach.
So instead of giving in to Stupak, House Democratic leaders are apparently working overtime on another course of action, which is to try to divide the Stupak bloc and pick off enough of his fellow Democrats with minor tweaks to the existing bill to allow passage.
Squishy pro-life Democrats shouldn’t be fooled. If they enable passage with their votes of a health-care bill that facilitates public funding of health insurance covering elective abortions, they will be held accountable by pro-life voters. It won’t matter if every pro-abortion politician in the country, from President Obama on down, asserts that the plan doesn’t pay for abortions. Pro-life voters won’t listen to them. They will listen to more trusted voices, and if they say that the health-care plan expands the abortion license, that’s all that will matter.
President Obama came in to office proclaiming a new openness to the pro-life position. But that was just a lot of talk to divide the conservative coalition. Actions speak louder than words. And his administration and its allies in Congress are using every tool at their disposal to make elective abortions a part of mainstream insurance coverage. Any Democrat who helps them to do so is no pro-lifer.