Title of the New York Times piece…
Finally. Finally MSM is acknowledging abortion is a problem for Democrats. Finally MSM is acknowledging the abortion civil war within the Democrat Party. And what a play on words. Abortion “bedeviled” Democrats….
It was late Friday night and lawmakers were stalling for time. In a committee room, they yammered away, delaying a procedural vote on the historic health care legislation. Down one floor, in her office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi desperately tried to deal with an issue that has bedeviled Democrats for more than a generation — abortion.
After hours of heated talks, the people she was trying to convince – some of her closest allies – burst angrily out of her office.
Her attempts at winning them over had failed, and Ms. Pelosi, the first woman speaker and an ardent defender of abortion rights, had no choice but to do the unthinkable. To save the health care bill she had to give in to abortion opponents in her party….
The results of that fight, waged heavily over 2 days, were evident as one liberal Democrat after another denounced the health care plan because of abortion restrictions….
“If enacted, this amendment will be the greatest restriction of a woman’s right to choose to pass in our careers,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, Democrat of CO, one of the lawmakers who left Ms. Pelosi’s office mad….
The fight over abortion foreshadows difficult soul searching in the months ahead as Democratic lawmakers confront deepening divisions among their caucus on issues like abortion rights and gun control.
Through the 1980s, the Democrats struggled over abortion. But by the 1990s, the share of Americans supportive of abortion rights had grown. Democrats lost their majorities for 12 years, leaving the most liberal and pro-abortion rights members in office. As a result it seemed to fade as a public issue. Now, however, Democrats once again have a large and diverse House majority, with more members from conservative-leaning districts where anti-abortion rights groups are active.
It was that division that played out behind the scenes late last week, and into the weekend, and came powerfully in the open as the issue….
And it was part of the drama outside the Capitol as well. Roughly 300 protesters who rallied against the health care bill included a number of anti-abortion demonstrators with large placards showing grisly photos identified as aborted fetuses….
First, Ms. Pelosi met with leaders of the Pro-Choice Caucus, then she huddled with staff members from the bishops conferences, and with Mr. Stupak and 2 other leading Roman Catholic lawmakers….
The representatives of the nation’s bishops made clear they would fight the bill if there were not restrictions on abortion. In an extraordinary effort over the last 10 days, the bishops conference told priests across the country to talk about the legislation in church, mobilizing parishioners to contact Congress and to pray for the success of anti-abortion amendments….