In the tense hours preceding the healthcare bill vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrangled, cajoled, arm-twisted and earmarked her way to the 218 votes necessary for passage. Part of her negotiations included bringing into the fold pro-life Democrats who protested any public funding of abortion in a public option healthcare plan.
To obtain her needed majority, Pelosi allowed inclusion of an amendment co-authored by Congressmen Bart Stupak (D) and Joe Pitts (R) which prevents taxpayer funding of abortion within the government healthcare plan. Going even further, the amendment also prevents private insurance plans from covering abortions if their customers receive some type of government subsidy for healthcare.
No sooner had the healthcare legislation passed than some pro-life leaders immediately proclaimed victory for the inclusion of such restrictions on abortion in the new government-run healthcare system. Granted, any exclusion of abortion funding in a Democrat-controlled Congress is significant. But in the culture war to regain true sanctity of life, prohibiting abortion funding in a bill that overall disregards the sanctity of life, this was not a pro-life victory.
The Stupak-Pitts amendment could end up being a brilliant political tactic: a poison pill provision that, if included in the final version of the bill, would dissuade President Obama from signing it into law. However, Obama’s commitment to passing socialist healthcare surpasses any commitment to public funding of abortion.
Imposing a radical new government program that will increase public dependence on a gargantuan centralized government is paramount for Democrat leaders who seem to have no regard for individual liberty. And as long as Roe vs. Wade is allowed to stand as the law of the land, Congress and other government agencies will find ways to fund their abortion allies.