Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Obama Reacts to House Prohibition of Abortion Funding

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In a legislative clash that pitted Democrats against their fellows, the House voted Saturday to pass the Stupak Amendment. Sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Brad Ellsworth, (D-Ind.) and Joe Pitts, (R-Pa.), the measure prohibits federal money from being used to fund abortion through the Democrats’ 1,990-page healthcare plan.

The amendment passed by the comfortable margin of 240-194, with every Republican and 64 Democrats voting yay. Alex Wayne at provides the details, writing:

The result of the Stupak amendment would be that insurers selling plans through a new government-run “exchange” — including a government-run plan, the public option — could not offer policies covering elective abortion to people who receive federal subsidies for their premiums.

Instead, women with subsidized policies who also want abortion coverage would have to purchase separate abortion-only “riders” for their plans, using their own money.

Insurers would be allowed to cover abortions that result from rape or incest or when a pregnancy threatens a mother’s life. And people who do not receive federal subsidies would be able to buy policies on the exchange that cover elective abortion, though abortion rights supporters are skeptical there will be any available.

Another result of the Stupak Amendment, according to Rep. Stupak, is that it likely gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 10 more votes for the Democrat healthcare bill, allowing for its passage later Saturday evening by a razor-thin 220-215 margin. This is an ironic tribute to Otto Von Bismarck’s saying, “Politics is the art of the possible,” as most of the amendment’s opponents support the healthcare overhaul and most of the amendment’s supporters oppose it.

As for the pro-abortion side, its most prominent member, Barack Obama, expressed displeasure with the abortion restrictions and encouraged Congress to revise them. Robert Pear reports on the President’s reaction in the New York Times, writing:

On the one hand, Mr. Obama said, “we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions.”

On the other hand, he said, he wanted to make sure “we’re not restricting women’s insurance choices,” because he had promised that “if you’re happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, it’s not going to change.”

This is a curious and seemingly contradictory position. How can you provide women with abortion coverage through federally subsidized insurance plans while also refusing to federally subsidize abortion? That trick would take a bit more than the new math.

Thus, it’s logical to assume that some part of Obama’s statement is just lip service, and given his history, critics would aver that it isn’t hard to identify which it is. The President has long been a staunch supporter of abortion, even going so far as to tolerate infanticide through his opposition to Illinois’ Born Alive Infants Protection Act while in the Illinois Senate. Reporting on the matter at in 2008, columnist Jill Stanek explained that the “legislation declared all live babies legal persons, which would guarantee them the right to appropriate medical care, even if abortion survivors.”

Stanek, who while a nurse in Illinois actually witnessed a baby being born alive and then being left to die, then illustrated and commented on the radicalism of the President’s position, writing:

As the sole senator to speak against Born Alive on the Senate floor in 2001, Obama said:

Whenever we define a previable fetus as a person … it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.

“If this is a child”?

Barack Obama's fanatical support of abortion stopped him from admitting abortion survivors were persons.

Yet, as evidenced by the Democrats’ internecine squabble over the Stupak Amendment, it’s obvious that not all Democrat politicians share Obama’s extreme views. This isn’t surprising, either, as some recent polls suggest that support for abortion is on the wane.

Given this political climate, pro-life Americans are hopeful that whatever healthcare bill emerges from the Senate (if one does in the near future), it will not use our tax money to further finance what is euphemistically called a medical procedure and what ever more Americans may be calling something else: the killing of the least among us.

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