If you’ll recall, Stupak and Obama claimed that Obama’s eleventh-hour executive order would mean that no federal funds from Obamacare would go to fund abortion. Certain liberal Catholic groups, like CHA, used this as political coverage for support of Obamacare. Then, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the government tried to pay for abortions. Pro-lifers caught wind quickly, sounded the alarm, and they backed off of it. And now, pro-abortion groups (and we are talking here about groups that want the government to purchase abortions for her citizens, so the term is appropriate) have the gall to be outraged that the president wasn’t successful in saying one thing and doing the opposite.
Politico has an article worth reading on the subject:
Anti-abortion groups leapt into action last month when the National Right to Life Committee warned that elective abortions would be covered under a Pennsylvania insurance program created by the health care reform law.
The Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council blasted the news to the media and supporters. NRLC began scouring other state plans for similar provisions. Top congressional Republicans sent a letter of protest to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
And within a day, the anti-abortion groups got what they wanted: a nationwide ban on coverage for most elective abortions in the so-called high-risk insurance pools, a position reaffirmed in a Health and Human Services regulation released on Thursday.
Abortion rights advocates were caught completely off-guard.
Planned Parenthood and NARAL didn’t publicly petition HHS until after the new ban was imposed. And it took sympathetic Democrats on the Hill a full 10 days to write a letter expressing disappointment with the HHS — and even then, they were so squeamish about the issue that they never even used the word “abortion” in their protest.
For abortion rights advocates, the HHS episode was both a reminder of the health reform battle they lost and a warning about the risks ahead: Having a president on their side doesn’t mean they can sit back and expect success.
“This is not the outcome we expected,” said Laurie Rubiner, Planned Parenthood vice president for public policy. “We now know we need to be vigilant to make sure there aren’t other areas of the law where there is silence. There is a whole host of areas that we’re going to be watching like a hawk.”
So the outcome Rubiner expected was that Obama and Stupak were lying, and that Obama would see to it that abortions were paid for. As it is, it seems only half of that expectation was correct… for now. The article makes clear that these groups are looking for every way to force taxpayers to buy abortions, and as such, it’s worth reading as pro-lifers. It’s easy to feel as if the abortion debate isn’t productive – that since so much of this is settled in the courts, the debate for hearts and minds and the political battles aren’t worth much. That’s not true in this day and age — the executive and legislative branch will wield massive power to decide if we pay for, or forbid paying for, abortions, now that government is largely in charge of healthcare. Short of overturning Roe v. Wade, this is probably the most important political battle. If we fail here, and pro-abortion groups succeed in getting insurance companies to treat killing children like removing tonsils, the Rubicon will have been crossed in a troubling way.
Pet Peeve: the Politico article runs with yet another disingenuous close-up of pro-choice protesters. It’s shot so you so that you can’t tell if there are six, or 6,000,000, people protesting on the pro-choice side. The truth of the matter is that there are hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers protesting, with at most a few dozen counter-protesters (who all carry identical NOW-issued signs), yet its these counter-protesters who make virtually all of the abortion debate coverage. It’s one of the most egregious examples of media bias I know: they intentionally bestow legitimacy upon a group so small that you can walk the entire March for Life and never see one of them, while intentionally freezing out any coverage of the largest protest movement in the US. On the other hand, when the media wants a large protest to look like a large protest, here’s the shot they take (see the picture on the right).