I’ve been highlighting the choice that democrats, largely in the person of Nancy Pelosi, have to make in the health care debate: will she sell out to abortion-rights extremists who want to see abortion like any other kind of health care and risk killing health care reform?
Well, it looks as if the President and Pelosi had worked out a deal to give Stupak a manager’s amendment to get his preferred language…and it was likely to pass given republican support. However, this is what appears to have happened:
The publication of the amendment triggered a flurry of activity within the pro-choice community, who began hammering their own leadership, who in turn put pressure on members of the pro-choice caucus as well as Pelosi herself. Although NARAL’s Nancy Keenan had not planned to oppose the measure, outrage from within her own ranks caused her to speak out.
According to the source (and with no small amount of irony), “Nancy Pelosi finally grew balls.”
Pelosi had wanted the pro-choice caucus to accept a deal whereby after the House voted to pass the health care bill with the Senate’s Nelson language, Stupak would get a stand-alone vote that could pass with the help of anti-choice Republicans.
Members of the pro-choice caucus felt that Nancy had “sold us out,” according to one member. “She is just going along with whatever the boys in the White House tell her to do.”
This sell out to pro-abortion rights extremists might be the death knell of health care reform:
As Dave Dayen notes in his whip count, even if Pelosi gets every other uncommitted vote, she still needs to crack the Stupak block to get to 216.