Sunday, November 08, 2009

Pro-life Democrats Force Abortion Restrictions on Pelosi

Representative Bart Stupak, Democrat of Michigan, with the Catholic bishops held firm, and were joined by Republicans to include an amendment in the House health care bill forbidding federal money to pay for abortions.

Abortion advocates are furious.

UPDATE 11/8/09: Conservatives suspect Pelosi holding back-room deal for Senate-House negotiations

-- From "Abortion Was at Heart of Wrangling" by David M. Herszenhorn and Jackie Calmes, New York Times 11/8/09

It was late Friday night and lawmakers were stalling for time. In a committee room, they yammered away, delaying a procedural vote on the historic health care legislation. Down one floor, in her office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi desperately tried to deal with an issue that has bedeviled Democrats for more than a generation — abortion.

After hours of heated talks, the people she was trying to convince — some of her closest allies — burst angrily out of her office.

Her attempts at winning them over had failed, and Ms. Pelosi, the first woman speaker and an ardent defender of abortion rights, had no choice but to do the unthinkable. To save the health care bill she had to give in to abortion opponents in her party and allow them to propose tight restrictions barring any insurance plan that is purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions.

The restrictions were necessary to win support for the overall bill from abortion opponents who threatened to scuttle the health care overhaul.

The results of that fight, waged heavily over two days, were evident as one liberal Democrat after another denounced the health care plan because of abortion restrictions, even though they were likely to hold their noses in the end and vote for the bill itself.

On Friday, Ms. Pelosi met twice with Democratic lawmakers from the Pro-Choice Caucus. In between, she huddled with staff members from the bishops conference, Mr. Stupak and two other leading Roman Catholic lawmakers, Representative Mike Doyle, Democrat of Pennsylvania, and Representative Brad Ellsworth, Democrat of Indiana.

The representatives of the nation’s bishops made clear they would fight the bill if there were not restrictions on abortion. In an extraordinary effort over the last 10 days, the bishops conference told priests across the country to talk about the legislation in church, mobilizing parishioners to contact Congress and to pray for the success of anti-abortion amendments.

The bishops sent out information to be “announced at all Masses” and included in parish bulletins, and urged priests and parishioners to tell House members: “Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns.” They added: “If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

In the end the abortion opponents had the votes, and Ms. Pelosi yielded, allowing Mr. Stupak to offer his amendment. At a news conference, Ms. Pelosi denied being angry about it.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "In Pelosi's House, 64 Democrats Sell Women Out" by Taylor Marsh, Political analyst, commentator, with foreign policy focus; The Huffington Post 11/8/09

The first female Speaker of the House makes history by passing a health care bill that not only doesn't have a robust public option, but also sells out women's civil rights. The Republicans acted reprehensibly today, heckling women lawmakers like the chamber was a frat house.

. . . But let's be honest. It was Pres. Obama who opened the door to sell us out when he decided to put the Hyde Amendment in the budget, something Bill Clinton never did. But Mr. Obama didn't stop there. During the stimulus fight, at the first sign of displeasure, our President personally asked that contraceptives be taken out. Now the President seems ready to finish the job, with Democrats in the House helping him do it.

This means that any woman opting to join the [health care insurance] exchanges would not have access to full women's health care and abortion coverage.

There is no health care bill worth supporting that sells out women's civil rights.

Right now every woman who values her civil rights should understand how the gay community feels. Democrats just sold us out too.

Progressives in the House should have killed the bill.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.