To Bart Stupak, On the Eve of Battle
Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
Dear Representative Stupak,
Your statement on Saturday following the decision of Sen. Ben Nelson to support the Senate health-care bill was a great relief to millions of Catholics in this country. Your comment that "the Senate abortion language is not acceptable" provided moral and religious clarity at a crucial moment in the history of our nation and Church.
You pinpointed the problems with the abortion language of the manager's amendment, noting the "dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage." You also rejected the proposed "segregation of funds" as "another departure from current policy prohibiting federal subsidy of abortion language."
Senator Nelson believes that the language you find unacceptable has "accomplished the goal" of preventing "tax dollars from being used to subsidize abortions." As your statement infers, Nelson is simply wrong about this and, for whatever reason, refused a briefing with National Right to Life, whose own statement further explains the shortcomings of the manager's amendment.
Nelson's decision was influenced by a deal he was offered so that his state of Nebraska would save money in Medicaid payments. How can that compare to the thousands, and eventually millions, of aborted children that will directly result from federal funding for abortion? Surely you agree that the right to life is not a principle that can be for sale at any price.
In all likelihood, your resolve and leadership is going to be tested when the health-care bill passes in the Senate, passes through conference, and returns to the House for a final vote. Sixty-three Democrats joined you in supporting your amendment banning federal funding for abortion, but the amendment itself added only ten new votes to the total.
Nonetheless, if those ten votes remain constant (including your own), the health-care bill, in its present form, cannot pass the House.
I don't need to tell you that Catholic leadership in the Congress has, for many years, been sending a mixed message on the non-negotiable life issues to this nation's citizens, Catholic and non-Catholic. If the House, following your leadership, rejects this bill because of federal funding of abortion, it will help correct much of the widespread confusion about Catholic teaching. (It will also bring anger, but I have a feeling you're prepared for that.)
I hope you will continue to look beyond the political upside or downside of your efforts to remove abortion funding from health-care reform. None of those calculations can matter in the face of the unborn child.
Many of those lives hang in the balance as we approach the eve of the health-care battle, which may well be Christmas Eve itself. You will recall that the Christ child Himself faced a threat to His life in Herod not long after He was born. He wasn't the last.
With prayers and best wishes during this Advent season,
Deal W. Hudson
Previoius Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Democrats Reveal Priorities: Universal Abortion Trumps Universal Health Coverage
Health Care, Politicians and the Catholic Conscience
Feel Free to Oppose Health Care Reform in Good Conscience ...
White House at Odds with Bishops Over Abortion Coverage in Reid "Health Care" Bill
"Pro-Life" Harry Reid Strips Stupak Language from Senate ObamaCare Bill
Epic Fail: Legal Hack Toobin Relies on Falsified Source for Abortion "History" in Article Against Stupak Amendment
Stupak Warns Democrats Not to Mess with Anti-Abortion Health Care Language
Because Blaming the Minority Opposition Party is Easier Than Owning Up to Having Aligned Yourself With a Party For Whom Abortion is a Sacrament
A Big Pro Ecclesia Thank You ...
Stupak Still Fighting Good Fight: Says He Has 40 Democrat Votes to Stop Health Care Reform Over Abortion Coverage; Says President Being Disingenuous
House Democrats Block Vote to Cut Abortion From Health Care Bill
Michael Sean Winters: "Deceitful Bogeyman" of the Catholic Left
Catholic Bishops: All Current Health Care Bills in Congress Would Permit Federal Funding of Abortion
Catholic Senators are Decisive Factor in Defeating Abortion Funding Ban and Conscience Protection in Health Care Bill
Can Stupak Be Counted Upon to Stand Firm on Abortion? Probably Not
Congressman Bart Stupak, Democrat, Defending the Right to Life in Heath Care
Pro-Life Catholic Dem: "We Believe We Have the Votes" to Shut Down Healthcare Over Abortion
Obama Won't Meet With Pro-Life Democrat to Discuss Abortion, Health Care
Pro-Life Catholic Dem: Prevent Abortion Funding, Or I'll Block Healthcare
House Democrats Will Likely Prevent Vote to Remove Abortion From Health Care
Deal Hudson: "Why Catholics Will Not Get Abortion Out of the Health Care Bill" [UPDATED]
LA Times: Next Hurdle in Healthcare "Debate" is Abortion
Congressman Smith Warns Against Phony ‘Compromise’ on Abortion Mandates in ObamaCare
Dem Says Language Expressly Prohibiting Abortion Funding a Must in Health Care Bill [UPDATED]
Pelosi Accused of Muzzling Opposition to Taxpayer-Funded D.C. Abortions