Healthcare reform turns on abortion

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We do have some principled leadership in Congress, after all. Especially the Democrat who refuses to buckle under massive pressure from the White House, Senate and House powerbrokers and most of the big media opinionmakers: Bart Stupak. He’s sending them all into a tailspin.

It’s making for dramatic headlines and re-centering the focus of attention on today’s civil rights movement….the right to life.

A dozen House of Representatives Democrats opposed to abortion are willing to kill President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan unless it satisfies their demand for language barring the procedure, Representative Bart Stupak said on Thursday.

“Yes. We’re prepared to take responsibility,” Stupak said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when asked if he and his 11 Democratic allies were willing to accept the consequences for bringing down healthcare reform over abortion.

“Let’s face it. I want to see healthcare. But we’re not going to bypass the principles of belief that we feel strongly about,” he said.

The Michigan Democrat held up House legislation last year until he was satisfied that its language prevented federal tax dollars from being used to fund abortions.

While others are caving in through compromise deals and other bargains and arm-twisting, Stupak and gang are holding out, thankfully tethered to their moral compass.

This same story quotes Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius assuring that federal funds won’t be spent on abortion. But at this point, given that the Senate version of health care reform is the engine driving the train, that’s just as much a misleading statement (okay, a lie) as Senator Reid’s protestations at the health care summit that Democrats were even thinking about reconciliation and Speaker Pelosi’s protestations at that summit declaring that abortion would be covered in the plans, and President Obama’s claims about nearly all of it.

So most of Mr. Obama’s first year in office has been paralyzed over nothing more than minor regulatory hair-splitting. This is so preposterous that the President can’t possibly believe it.

Congress’s spring break begins on March 29, and Democratic leaders plan on jamming this monster through Congress before then. Americans have to hope that enough rank-and-file Democrats aren’t as deaf to fiscal honesty as this President.

And moral responsibility. At least Bart Stupak is hearing….and speaking….with clarity.

(Note: For anyone in the Chicago region at the end of April, Stupak will be speaking as keynote at the Illinois Catholic Prayer Breakfast on April 30th, on the role of moral leadership and faithful citizenship in social policies these days. And God only knows how Stupak and his moral holdouts will fare between now and then. Ought to be one interesting moment of truth for everyone involved. Here’s the info.)

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