The Washington Post has an extensive report of the deal that Nebraska’s Ben Nelson accepted to allow federal funding of abortion for the first time.
Thus is launched the most important Congressional debate on abortion in three decades. Every pro-life voter in the land should use the “Take Further Action” button in the Free Our Health Care banner in the column to the right to communicate with your senators and Representative to oppose Obamacare, especially because of this abortion deal which will result in your tax dollars paying for hundreds of thousands of abortions. Even some supporters of abortion rights will work to reverse this wholesale sundering of the truce that has governed Congress since Roe came down.
Every Catholic bishop should direct every Catholic priest to preach from every Catholic pulpit this weekend and next on the urgent need and indeed duty to communicate with Congressmen especially on the need to oppose federal funding of abortion and to support the Stupak amendment. A legislative decision is pending that will not be easily reversed for decades to come if it passes. Every effort should be made –if the Bishops really mean what they say they mean. Indeed, every Bishop ought to be booking a flight to D.C. to see their own Representatives and senators. Would the key handful of Catholic Democrats be more likely to stand firm if they saw scores of Bishops and Cardinals walking the halls of Rayburn? Do the unborn deserve such a show of resolve from the Bishops, as disruptive as it would no doubt be to their calendars?
If anyone needs to get smart generally, a very useful archive of stories on all that is wrong with Obamacare is here in the Wall Street Journal’s Guide to Obamacare. Read this set of reports and you won’t be lacking for ammunition at Christmas dinner when a relative declares the Senate has accomplished a historic thing. In fact, run a few off and have them handy.
But the abortion issue is narrow andself-contained: Will the Congress use Obamacare to win the last big battle for abortion rights absolutists by funneling federal money into the abortion business? The Senate bill will allow them to do that, by the hundreds of millions. Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak is the man of the moment, with the ability to force the repeal of the Senate’s sell-out on abortion funding. The Catholic Bishops have rejected the Senate deal, and Stupak has already blasted the Senate language. Over at First Thoughts blog, Steven Dillard sums up the hope of pro-life people:
[T]he only thing standing in the way of federal funding of abortions is Rep. Stupak and his leadership on this issue. And the question on every politico’s mind is: Will Stupak cave like Nelson? Many of my jaded Republican friends think Pelosi et al.will get to Stupak, and force him to sign off on language similar to that in the Senate bill.
Well, call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I truly believe Stupak will stand his ground. Like the late (and great) Robert P. Casey, Sr., I am convinced that Stupak is the genuine article. Consider, for example, the following comments by Stupak:
“I don’t think the party leadership expected this. They really did not think we would make such a big issue out of it. And they were wrong . . . . We are going to hold firm and make sure the Stupak-Pitts language stays when this legislation comes back to us. We will not vote for this bill if that language is not there . . . . We’ll have a conversation if it comes back that way. Not a negotiation; a conversation.”
Now, while I could certainly be proven wrong, I think Rep. Stupak means what he says, and will do everything in his power to prevent federal funding of abortion in the final version of health-care reform bill. And if he does, Stupak will become a hero to those of us in the pro-life movement. He will also empower and encourage other pro-life Democrats to follow his lead, and strengthen the pro-life coalition within his party. Most importantly, Stupak’s stance will serve as a very public testimony to the inherent dignity of every unborn child, and undoubtedly save lives.
Do your part to support Stupak and his allies by calling his office via the Hill Switchboard –202-224-3121. And add to the political pressure on other House Democrats by contributing to the ReverseTheVote.org fund established by the National Republican Congressional Committee. That fund targets 24 House Democrats who come from swing districts but who voted for Obamacare last round. We need to peel off three of them to defeat Obamacare this time, and a rising total in the fund focuses their attention like nothing else.
It would be great if every pro-life activist in the country contributed $10, $25, $50 or even $100 to ReverseTheVote.org. It would be the most effective pro-life contribution you have made in years.