Thursday, July 30, 2009

Keeping Abortion Out of Health Care

(Hat tip:

Ken Blackwell writes at The American Spectator:
Evangelical writer Jim Wallis has until now remained strong on the idea that nationalized health care should not force Americans to pay for killing unborn children. But, as May push comes to July shove, Wallis's liberal friends are giving him a "wedgie." Now, he seems to be wavering. He says he hopes that abortion will not become a "wedge issue," one that will prevent us from enacting a sweeping takeover of the health care industry.

Harold Ickes, Jr. is well-known in liberal circles. He's been a fund-raiser for his party and a key backer of Bill and Hillary Clinton for decades. As long ago as 1988, he weighed in in his home state of New York against then-Sen. Al Gore. This was Gore's first run for President and arguably his best shot. Gore came into New York State with 25 percent in the polls -- leading a crowded Democratic pack. But Ickes was outraged by Gore's position against federal funding of abortion. Ickes led a chorus of boos against Gore at a big meeting of liberal donors. Gore's standing in the New York Democratic primary plummeted. He won just 10 percent of the vote and limped out of the Empire State. Gore's campaign collapsed and he turned around on federal funding of abortion.

Why would Ickes' wealthy fellow liberals care so much about federal funding for abortion? After all, New York State, led by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo, would continue to pay for abortions. And Ickes' friends would themselves never need a public subsidy in order to avail themselves of abortion.

With Ickes and his fellow travelers on abortion it is absolutely essential that we cease calling it wrong. Federal funding for abortion is the indispensable piece of the puzzle. They have had abortion-on-demand -- what they always wanted -- ever since Roe. The Supreme Court has only rarely failed to deliver on their radical pro-abortion agenda. But it fell short in Harris v. McRae (1980) -- and then only by the slenderest of margins, 5-4. In that important case, the Court's majority said that the Hyde Amendment forbidding the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortions was constitutional.

For men like Ickes denying federal funding impermissibly taints abortion. There's something wrong with it if the federal government cannot fully and generously pay for it. For them, 48 million abortions are not enough.

Abraham Lincoln went to New York City 128 years before Al Gore went there. He recognized that his opponents would not be satisfied with holding their slaves in bondage, selling their slaves across state lines, and even pursuing their runaway slaves into the free states. So what else could Lincoln's adversaries want? "This, and this only," he famously said at Cooper Union "[We must]: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly -- done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated -- we must place ourselves avowedly with them."

This is why Harold Ickes, Jr. and Barack Obama cannot yield on abortion-as-health care.

Obama sincerely wants to end all the controversy over abortion. He wants to end it by including abortion in his government takeover of health care. Then, he hopes, we will have to cease calling it wrong. Then, it will be officially designated as an indispensable and indisputable part of a mandated federal benefits package.


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
A "Loud Silence"

New Ad: ObamaCare and Abortion

Obama's Nun: Ignore "Insignificant Details", Pass Health Care Bill Now

LA Times: Next Hurdle in Healthcare "Debate" is Abortion

Human Life Is More than a "Distraction"

Congressman Smith Warns Against Phony ‘Compromise’ on Abortion Mandates in ObamaCare

John Boehner: "Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Is Not Health-Care Reform"

Stop the Abortion Mandate

Dem Says Language Expressly Prohibiting Abortion Funding a Must in Health Care Bill [UPDATED]

Bishops Speak Out on ObamaCare

Apparently, the "Debate" is Over

Dems Propose Fake Pro-Life Bill That Increases Funding For Planned Parenthood

Catholic Politicians Continue to Advance Abortion Lobby Agenda

Pelosi Accused of Muzzling Opposition to Taxpayer-Funded D.C. Abortions

Obama Culture of Death Update™: White House Budget Director "Not Prepared to Rule Out" Publicly Funded Abortion as Part of ObamaCare

Human Events: "Abortion By Any Other Name Is In Health Care Bill"

Democrats for Life Give Boot to Ohio Congressman

Pro-Life Kudos to Michael Sean Winters

Chris Matthews: Obama Double-Crosses Pope; Abortion Coverage Could Jeopardize Health Reform [UPDATED]

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At 7/30/2009 4:50 PM, Blogger The Dutchman said...

Jim Wallis has always been spine-less on the issue.


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