If it feels like we’ve been here before, its because we have:
A dozen House of Representatives Democrats opposed to abortion are willing to kill President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan unless it satisfies their demand for language barring the procedure, Representative Bart Stupak said on Thursday.
“Yes. We’re prepared to take responsibility,” Stupak said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when asked if he and his 11 Democratic allies were willing to accept the consequences for bringing down healthcare reform over abortion.
“Let’s face it. I want to see healthcare. But we’re not going to bypass the principles of belief that we feel strongly about,” he said.
We’ve been back and forth on the arguments surrounding this complicated set of issues pretty thoroughly on this blog, but let’s just pause for a minute to think again about how extraordinary this situation is. Pro-Life democrats now hold the power to derail health care reform in their hands and, apparently, are willing to stick to their principles. The broader democratic party–and the Obama administration–have a question to answer: are they going to let health care die in order to pacify members of their party who not only want to see abortion as a privacy right, but as something that can be covered in a federally managed and subsidized insurance exchange?
The decision they reach will impact not only health care reform (a monstrous issue in itself), but also the very identity of their party. Will they retreat toward being the party of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, or will they continue to move in the direction of Bob Casey and Bart Stupak? That is, in the direction of those that want to protect both the very young and those without health insurance?
That is, in the direction of a consistent ethic of life.