The Stupak Amendment passed the House’s floor vote, meaning that the House version of the health-care bill now contains strong pro-life language preventing federal funds from being used to finance abortion.
What this means, practically speaking. (1) The Democrats’ health-care bill should pass the House easily now, and (2) if the House version goes into law, it’s not morally objectionable. A Catholic can in good faith vote for the bill. Of course, there are other issues rendering it far from perfect, but it’s no longer intrinsically evil.
Here’s why I say potentially great news, though. We don’t know what the Senate version will look like, nor do we know what the final product that the president will sign will look like. Since a number of pro-choice Democrats were peeved that they couldn’t use this to promote abortion, they’re threatening to take advantage of these less-democratic ways to ramrod federally funded abortion through (despite the overwhelming majority – about 70% – of Americans who are against it). Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) was mad about the Stupak amendment but said, “In the end, when the president signs the bill, it will not be as Draconian.” That’s a threat.
So one major hurdle has been cleared for both pro-lifers and those pushing for broader health-care access, but we still have at least two remaining: the Senate version, and the compromise bill that’ll go before the president. We shouldn’t get lulled into thinking that the battle’s over when it’s just begun.