New York Times: Abortion "bedeviled" Dems; bishops made "extraordinary effort"

Title of the New York Times piece...

nyt abortion at heart of wrangling, pelosi, healthcare.jpg

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....


This puts Obama in a bind, if you think about it. Consider his promise to Planned Parenthood about passing the Freedom of Choice Act. It didn't happen tonight. So Cecile&Friends are probably thinking, "We blew $30 million in campaign donations for this???"

PP is gonna get theirs if they have anything to say about this. And Obama would LOVE to oblige them. But he wants to control our healthcare so badly.

Will he vote present?

Posted by: carder at November 8, 2009 12:30 AM

Here's an excerpt from a National Review blog post. Too optimistic?

"The House bill has passed — barely and belatedly — and it is now dead. Nothing like it will ever pass the Senate. The question now is whether anything will, now that the voters have spoken in New Jersey and Virginia — and now that the exceedingly narrow margin in the House will likely invite even greater scrutiny of that which is being proposed.

Greater scrutiny will not help the Democrats' efforts. In truth, their hopes for passage largely hinge on successfully hiding two plain facts from the voters: One, the House Republicans and the Congressional Budget Office have now shown that a bill costing $61 billion can lower Americans' insurance premiums, while bills costing $1.7 trillion cannot (and instead would raise them substantially). Two, the Democrats' plans would be paid for only if they follow through on plans to siphon hundreds of billions of dollars out of already-barely-solvent Medicare, and to do so just in time for the baby boomers' retirement. "

The author doesn't mention abortion, but add that to the mix, and we're looking at fireworks very shortly.

Posted by: carder at November 8, 2009 12:41 AM

The bill still has some very bad anti-life provisions and the Bishops should make is clear that the bill as written - even with the Stupak Amendment - is still an affront to patients and their right to life.

Now we need to raise the issue of conscience and the problem of cost. It is immoral to saddle our children with such debt. It is immoral to FORCE people to buy insurance. It is immoral bold face lie to the American people and then pass something in the dead of night.

I will commend Stupak and those who held fast. But they must make it clear that if the amendment were to be stripped from any bill in conference committee, they would not hesitate to vote it down. For there are many who think the fix is in, and the sham will have the bill stripped of the pro-life amendment and then the pro-life Democrats will be facing the same situation again.

Posted by: John Jakubczyk at November 8, 2009 3:00 AM

Hi John and Carder,

We can only hope the Stupak Amendment has thrown a huge monkey wrench in this monstrosity of a bill. You can bet Obama's PA minions are not doing backflips today. Good point Carder, can he just vote "present"?

Really, all I see is even more "wrangling" anger, feelings of "betrayal", and disappointment. A silver lining in a dark cloud.
This is no great victory for The Leader.

Posted by: Mary at November 8, 2009 8:13 AM

And now, a special message from the patriot who writes from her living room in Wasilla:

"All of us who value the sanctity of life are grateful for the success of the pro-life majority in the House this evening in its battle against federal funding of abortion in this bill, but it’s ironic because we were promised that abortion wasn’t covered in the bill to begin with. Our healthy distrust of these government leaders made us look deeper into the bill because unfortunately we knew better than to trust what they were saying. The victory tonight to amend the bill and eliminate that federal funding for abortion was great – because abortion is not health care. Now we can only hope that Rep. Stupak’s amendment will hold in the final bill, though the Democratic leadership has already refused to promise that it won’t be scrapped later."

That's just part of the slam.

Posted by: carder at November 8, 2009 8:42 AM

"It is immoral to FORCE people to buy insurance. "

Hmmm, my state forces me to buy auto insurance, my bank forces me to buy fire insurance. If people expect to get medical treatment even if they can't afford it (and I assure you they do) then I think it's okay to force them to buy insurance.

Posted by: Hal at November 8, 2009 12:01 PM

The health care bill threatens to take what has been creeping socialism in our country and turn it into a gallop. The senate can still pare it down a bit, but the secularist mentality that has seduced the democrats will not let this opportunity pass.

The pernicious aspect of socialism is that it takes power away from people and puts it into the hands of the state. The health care bill does that and more. Call it what you may, "death panels" or the sanitized language in the bill that does the same thing, big gov will now be issuing guidelines that have life and death consequences. Things which normally would be decided by families--such as when to pull the plug on granny--and a whole lot more will now be the provence of the state.

As for me, I do not want the state having a thing to do with health care decisions for my loved ones, and neither should anyone else who has at least two functioning brain cells.

Posted by: Jerry at November 8, 2009 12:44 PM

Hmmm, my state forces me to buy auto insurance, my bank forces me to buy fire insurance. Posted by: Hal at November 8, 2009 12:01 PM

Your decision to buy a car was voluntary. The necessity of getting insurance stems from your prior choice to buy a car. Your bank requires fire insurance because of your mortgage, right? You chose a mortgage. You could have chosen not to purchase or you could have chosen to pay cash. The fire insurance requirement stemmed from choices you made.

If people expect to get medical treatment even if they can't afford it (and I assure you they do) then I think it's okay to force them to buy insurance.

The bill requires even those who can afford to pay health care privately to buy insurance. You know full well that this is the first time the feds are MANDATING purchase of a product regardless of intent or ability to use it.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 8, 2009 1:03 PM

The reason madates are bad is because it take away private choice in healthcare. Right now there are organizations such as Samaritan Ministries that allow memebers to essentially pool their money to pay for other members healh bills. It works very well.

Under obamacare those people would not be able to continue using that system, and would instead be forced to pay for a traditional insurance plan that does not offer the same coverage they now enjoy.

It also ends high deductable/catastrophic plans which ends an affordable option for millions of Americans. Instead of being able to choose to save money in an HSA for everyday medical costs while maintianing a catastropic plan for emergencies, those people will be forced into a plan that gives them much less auhtority over their own care.

Posted by: lauren at November 8, 2009 1:17 PM


If the government takeover of GM resulted in awesome profits,

If Cash For Clunkers demonstrated a sustained rejuvenation of the car sales industry,

If unemployment actually went down instead of up after the stimulus,

If the government wasn't experiencing a shortage of flu vaccines,

If they hadn't been off by 2 trillion in their deficit projections,

If basically we didn't have such a freakshow in the White House, I might, just might give them the benefit of the doubt and say, "Sure, you can decide my healthcare choices for me."

As it stands, they're just not cutting it.

Posted by: carder at November 8, 2009 1:57 PM

Carder, no one is making any health care choices for you. You can continue to make your own choices, even if this reform bill becomes law. (unless you wanted to buy private health insurance that would cover abortion services, as they might outlaw that choice in the bill)

Posted by: Hal at November 8, 2009 2:36 PM

"Carder, no one is making any health care choices for you."

Hal, Unfortunately, you are mistaken. Many of our choicers will be made for us.

Here's a link to 14 hours of S-SPAN coverage on the House debate leading up to the Healthcare vote yesterday. I watched it all day, off and on. I wish I could remember the gentleman's name, he spent several minutes expounding on the parts of the bill that most of us are not aware of. There will be over one-hundred agencies (one-hundred eighteen, I believe) created under this bill. There will be the appointment of a Health Commissioner, etc...

Posted by: Janet at November 8, 2009 3:10 PM

The speaker I referred to may have been John Boehner-Ohio. Maybe someone knows for sure... Thanks.

Posted by: Janet at November 8, 2009 3:17 PM


Posted by: Louise at November 8, 2009 3:40 PM

Let me be more specific, Hal.

If the Guvmint cannot live up to its own expectations, then they have no business controlling yet another sector of something so fundamental.

Posted by: carder at November 8, 2009 5:57 PM