For all their aggressive work to define themselves as the party of abortion, Democrats would do well to remember that pro-life sentiment almost singlehandedly derailed one of the past four years’ defining Democrat accomplishments, ObamaCare, which passed only after Barack Obama made a deal with Democrat representative, Bart Stupak, allegedly ensuring that the health care bill would not fund abortion, thereby enabling life-leaning Democrats to vote for it.
But just as soon as the compromise was announced, pro-lifers and legal analysts began eviscerating it, noting that it depended almost entirely on taking the most radically pro-abortion president in history at his word that he’d put the concerns of pro-life taxpayers over his own base’s wishes.
Recently, Rep. Stupak was caught on video admitting that the HHS mandate violates the deal he made with the president:
I’m perplexed and disappointed that, having negotiated the executive order with the president, not only does that HHS mandate violate the executive order but it also violates statutory law. If you go back to beyond this Budget Act of 2009, passed by Democratic House and Democratic Senate, signed by President Obama, that probably the most specific, articulate language, that no funds can be used to promote abortion or words along those lines.
This is not pro-life fear-mongering, or a legislative slip-up, or bureaucrats given too much leeway; this is by design. The 2012 Democratic Party platform “strongly and unequivocally” endorses the right to abortion “regardless of ability to pay.” Further:
Obama wants Medicaid to pay directly for elective abortions, and Obamacare will allow beneficiaries to use federal subsidies to purchase health care plans that cover elective abortions. According to a 2009 Quinnipiac poll, 72 percent of voters oppose public funding of abortion and 23 percent support it. In other words, public funding of abortion–a policy President Obama actively supports–is as unpopular as banning abortion in the case of rape, a policy on which the media have focused their attention over the past two weeks despite the fact that neither presidential candidate supports it.
Despite their pretentious talk of “reproductive freedom” and “bodily autonomy,” taxpayer funding of abortion proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that pro-aborts have no real respect for personal freedom. If they did, they would respect taxpayers’ right to decide for themselves whether to financially support such an intensely controversial practice – a desire which is clearly far more modest and unobtrusive than desiring the option to abort another human being. What principle of morality or justice can entitle us to take money from anyone else against his or her wishes and put it toward blatant affronts to his or her conscience?
And because pro-aborts don’t respect the rights or concerns of even moderately pro-life Americans, they were never going to honor any compromise on the issue for long; rather, they would undoubtedly take the first opportunity that came along to direct public money toward abortion. Stupak should never have expected the Obama administration to keep abortion out of ObamaCare, and he has nobody to blame but himself for getting betrayed.
This also undermines the credibility of those who attack Mitt Romney and the Republican platform on “extremism” grounds. Completely irrespective of either side’s rightness, Obama and the Democrats are at least as far from mainstream American abortion opinion on this and other aspects of the debate. Either the press and the pundits can start applying a little consistency to their political analysis, or they should admit that “extreme” no longer means anything more concrete than “you disagree with me.”