The usual suspects (the Rev. Carlton Veazey, the Rev. Deborah Haffner, Jon O’Brien of the Potemkin organization Catholics for Choice, and the high priest of Moloch “national chaplain” of Planned Parenthood) have issued a statement decrying the Stupak amendment to the health care reform bill that passed the House of Representatives last weekend. In it, they call for taxpayers to fund any abortion, any time, for any reason:
We come together to condemn the passage of the Stupak amendment, which if passed by the Senate will effectively deny coverage for abortion services to women covered by the new federal health care plan.
In fact, it will prevent the use of federal dollars to pay for abortions, a policy that has been in place since 1978 and has had the annual support of a majority of both houses of Congress, regardless of which party was in power, ever since. It does not prevent women from obtaining private insurance to cover abortion if they choose, which is the present situation. Some people, such as the leaders of NARAL, have tried to claim that the Stupak amendment prohibits insurers who take federal subsidy money from offering abortion coverage, but both the White House and the House leadership have disputed this. If I’m reading the text of the amendment correctly, I think the latter are both right about that.
We are appalled that religious leaders intervened to impose their specific religious doctrine into health care reform, not recognizing that women must have the right to apply or reject the principles of their own faith in making the decision as to whether or not abortion is appropriate in their specific circumstances.
Actually, what they are appalled at is that religious leaders other than themselves got involved in the debate and actually prevailed. These people certainly got involved as well, pushing their own “specific religious doctrine,” which says that abortion is fine and dandy with the Almighty (or, in Rev. Haffner’s case, the All Whatever). The appeal to religious freedom is, of course, a red herring. Nothing in the amendment prohibits anyone from procuring an abortion. It only keeps the taxpayers from paying for it.
Further, we decry those who sought to use abortion as a way to scuttle much needed health care reform.
The reality is that if the Stupak amendment hadn’t passed, it might have sunk the bill. If it hadn’t been voted upon, it would certainly have done so. As it is, more members of the House voted for the amendment than for the bill as a whole. How do you suppose Veazey and Company explain that?
We call on the President and the United States Senate to ensure that the final bill that passes does not include any specific prohibition on the use of federal funds for reproductive health care services. We pray for a renewed commitment to relational and reproductive justice for all.
In other words, they want the Senate to repeal the status quo ante of the last thirty years, and in the process destroy any chances of any form of health care reform (which is already, pardon the pun, on life support because of the factions among Democrats who can’t agree on the public option, abortion, mandates, etc.) reaching the president’s desk. And these people call pro-lifers “extremists.”
UPDATE: American United for Separation of Church and State, in the person of executive director Barry Lynn, demonstrates yet again that it is not a First Amendment watchdog so much as a left-wing advocacy organization:
Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn told NPR he is “horrified” by what happened.
“What we saw over the weekend was an act of unparalleled arrogance on the part of church officials,” Lynn said. “Basically, they were claiming they would kill health care for the sick and the poor if the Democrats didn’t give them the votes to impose religious doctrine into law. It’s scandalous that this religious group has such extraordinary control over the fate of women’s lives in this country.”
It would appear that Rev. Lynn is uninterested in the First Amendment implications of Veazey and Company seeking to impose their religious doctrine into law. Political oxen being gored, and all that.