Friday, July 24, 2009

Healthcare and Abortion

Many years ago I was having an argument with my brother about politics. He said to me, "It's always about abortion to you." I replied, "Because it is always about abortion."

I've been right about that. It seemed to me the Democratic party was defined by abortion. When they nominated Obama it seemed even more so. Obama's past voting record told us that he was more pro-abortion than Bill Clinton. And that takes some effort. But even Clinton, I think, would not have voted against the "Born Alive Infants Protection Act."

Ever since Roe v. Wade, a Democrat cannot get nominated for President of his party if he is not pro-choice. A Republican cannot get nominated for President if he is not pro-life. That is how much abortion effects politics.

For years I have felt that the the pro-life movement was finally more about changing hearts than law. We fought for decades for reasonable restrictions like parental consent for a minors, 24 hour waiting period, informed consent, and a ban on partial birth abortion. We finally achieved these things and in the process Americans became more informed. Abortion rates have declined. Americans also saw that Planned Parenthood, the owner and operator of most abortion clinics, was not about compromise. They, and many Democrats, fought these reasonable restrictions every step of the way. Even now we have the Freedom of Choice Act waiting to wipe out all those gains by the pro-life movement. Obama promised during the campaign that one of the first things he would do is sign FOCA. But he saw the mood of the country, and realized that wouldn't be a good move. So he put it on the back burner, thank God.

But Obama can't get away from abortion. I read several days ago that Sen. Hatch had asked Sen. Barbara Mikuliski in a committee meeting on the health care bill if Democrats would be willing to take out the taxpayer funded abortion mandate in the health bill, and her answer was an emphatic, "no."

As I read that, I realized that once again abortion raises it's ugly head and infects everything it touches. And then, as I posted below, several Democrats in the house balked at the abortion mandate as well. Wait. Not just several, but over 40 of them. I can only imagine how the pro-abortion Pelosi reacted. She was probably tearing her hair out. Do you think she will back down on this issue? She won't. Make no mistake about it. This has almost everything to do with this bill not being passed by the August deadline that Obama wished for.

Peggy Noon at the WSJ summed it up perfectly:

......some of the bills being worked on in Congress will allow for or mandate taxpayer funding of abortion. Speaking only and narrowly in political terms, this is so ignorant as to be astounding. A good portion of the support for national health care comes from a sort of European Christian Democrat spirit of community, of “We are all in this together.” This spirit potentially unites Democrats, leftists, some Republicans and GOP populists, the politically unaffiliated and those of whatever view with low incomes. But putting abortion in the mix takes the Christian out of Christian Democrat. It breaks and jangles the coalition, telling those who believe abortion is evil that they not only have to accept its legality but now have to pay for it in a brand new plan, for which they’ll be more highly taxed. This is taking a knife to your own supporters.

I can't tell you what it means to me that some Democrats are standing up for life. It make my heart sing. Every single one of us who has been pro-life should be calling these blue dog Democrats, like Indiana's Baron Hill and Michigan's Bart Stupak, and letting them know how much we appreciate them.

There are many reasons not to like this bill, but there is a certain irony that a Democrat White House and a Democrat Congress can't pass a bill that they desperately want because of abortion.

I know many of the left believe that Republicans just want to defeat this bill to hurt Obama. But that's not true. Most of us out here in America want reform, but just not government run reform. It is my hope that the bill will be transformed into a health insurance reform bill that will allow people to keep their insurance when they are laid off, and that will allow for pre-existing conditions. These are things that we all agree on. I hope it happens and I don't care if Obama gets credit for it. We need reform. It's more important that that happen, than proving Obama can't do it. It will be a shame if abortion keeps that from happening as well.