Ken Connor

Less than a month ago, on December 19, 2009, all eyes in Washington were fixed on one man: Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat from Nebraska. Senator Nelson found himself the man of the hour when it became clear that his vote and his vote alone was the only thing preventing the controversial Senate health care bill from being voted on after months of negotiations. Right to life organizations lauded Senator Nelson for having the guts to stick to his pro-life guns in the face of tremendous partisan pressures. Ironic as it seemed, pro-life Americans found themselves looking to a Democrat as their ally in the battle to prevent a massive taxpayer-funded expansion of abortion.

But only a week later, on Christmas Eve, the nation was shocked to learn that the stalemate had been broken. At the 11th hour Senator Nelson voted in favor of a health care bill that does not contain an explicit, easily enforceable ban on federally-funded abortion; rather, it hangs its “pro-life” credentials on flimsy “opt-out” language and the dubious “assurance” that no public funds for abortion will end up circulating amid the tsunami of health care dollars that will be flowing along the highways and byways of America’s health care network.

Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution

The problem is that this assurance comes from the same entity that sends stimulus checks to dead people and allocates bailout funds to congressional districts that don’t exist. Additionally, pro-lifers are uncomfortable taking the word of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a prior recipient of the political largesse of Planned Parenthood and abortion ghoul, George Tiller. HHS will call most of the shots in a government run healthcare program.

Needless to say, the people of Nebraska, along with millions of pro-life Americans across the country, feel that they were betrayed by Senator Nelson. They were shocked, but more than that, they were mystified. What could possibly entice the Senator to abandon his career-long record as a defender of the sanctity of life?

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.