Marjorie Dannenfelser

A group of coat-hanger laden abortion activists arriving on Capitol Hill today have one message for Democrats who voted for the Stupak Amendment excluding abortion from the House version of health care bill: back off. That message extends to Senators facing the same question now on a similar amendment expected from Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE). The delivery of hundreds of thousands of coat hangers to offices of the 20 Democrats who voted with Congressman Stupak communicates, one presumes, that unless the federal government pays for abortion, women will abort their unborn children with wire coat hangers. Haven’t heard back on the question of where all those tragedies are now occurring, since the federal government (you and I) don’t currently subsidize or directly fund any abortion today. Yet their message is clear: House Democrats, you took a stand. Now sit down. Senators, don’t even think of standing.

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To follow that advice would be to inject abortion into the debate over health care, reverse decades of commonsense policy protecting taxpayers’ consciences, and reject the well-established common ground comprised of 60 plus majorities of men and women who oppose federally funded abortions. As intimidating as the coat hanger deliveries might be, the longer term effect of voting for a health care bill that involves each one of us in almost every abortion that takes place in the nation will be far more consequential in the minds and actions of voters.

If there were a Political Olympics, the messaging gold medal would go to President Obama, with a silver awarded to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Since even before his inauguration, President Obama overlaid his daily march to implement strident abortion policy with a palatable “need for common ground” theme. He largely got away with it, even while implementing the most unpopular decision in the early months of his administration – overturning the Mexico City policy that forbade the export of tax dollars to support abortions in other nations. In a Gallup poll, 60 percent of voters ranked this his worst decision.

Marjorie Dannenfelser

Marjorie Dannenfelser is President of the Susan B. Anthony List.

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