Playing for Keeps - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Playing for Keeps

When President Obama was asked about whether abortion was in his health care plan, he answered elliptically. He didn’t say it was or wasn’t. He said there was a “tradition in this town of not paying for abortion.” But isn’t he the One elected on a platform of hope and change? Isn’t he the One who wants to re-found the American experiment?

Liberals would never have supported him for President if he said — as Sen. Al Gore once said — that abortion should not be federally-funded. Gore was running for President in 1988. He faced a buzzsaw of criticism from New York’s powerful liberal fundraiser, Harold Ickes, Jr. His opposition to federal funding of abortion effectively ended Gore’s quest for the White House twenty-one years ago.

Obama would make no such mistakes in his triumphal march to the Presidency. Now, as we enter the crucial weeks of the nation’s long and drawn-out health care debate, we get confirmation that abortion is in the health care takeover plan.

No less a source than the reliably left-wing National Public Radio (NPR) confirmed federal funding of abortion for us. Julie Rovner explained that the reason the abortion issue has loomed so large in this year’s health care debate is that “this time they’re playing for keeps.” All other abortion funding restrictions are annual amendments, Rovner pointed out on “Weekend Edition,” but the Obamacare plan will become “permanent law.” Both sides of the abortion debate, she reported, know that “there’s a lot at stake here.”

NPR quoted liberal Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). Schakowsky said: “Comprehensive health care does include reproductive health care, prenatal and maternity care, screening for breast, cervical and other cancers or [sexually transmitted infections] abortion, contraceptive services. That these are basic health care for women [emphasis added] that we have a right to by virtue of our reproductive organs and our right to control our own bodies.”

Thank you, Rep. Schakowsky. You have dispelled most admirably the fog of confusion emanating from the White House fog machine. For liberals, life or death for unborn children is simply a matter of choice. Rights come not from God, but from our reproductive organs. Notice, it’s rights squared — we all have a right to health care and we have a right to say what health care is. Our right to control our bodies implies a right to make taxpayers pay for whatever we decide to do with our bodies.

When the Department of Veterans Affairs last summer dredged up a rejected pamphlet for wounded warriors titled “Your Life, Your Choices,” liberals cried foul as conservatives charged the pamphlet was opening the door to suicide for depressed and suffering vets.

But given Rep. Schakowsky’s definition of rights — including the right to “control our bodies” — why was the conservatives’ charge wrong? How could the government deny you the right to control your body by ending your life if it is your life and your choice?

I’d like to thank the pro-life Democrats for bravely fighting against this inclusion of federally-funded abortions in the national health care plan. Many of them favor some form of federal health care takeover — with which I strongly disagree. But these pro-life Democrats are sacrificing greatly to stand on principle. Right now, they are the best hope we have for stopping this historic power grab.

Yes, Julie Rovner is right: A lot is at stake here. If Obamacare goes through, if it has a hidden abortion funding mandate in it (if, for example, it requires health insurance plans to cover abortions), we will even more deeply divide our wounded country over abortion.

“What they seek is that we shall cease calling it wrong.” That’s what Lincoln said at Cooper Union in 1860. He knew that the extreme advocates of slavery could not accept any settlement of the slavery debate that cast human bondage as morally unacceptable.

For more than thirty years, the ban on federal funding of abortion first carried by the late Henry Hyde has carried with it a presumption that we call abortion wrong. That is why liberals rallied to Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton once, and only once, called it wrong. (Newsweek, October 31, 1994.) But she never acted as if it was wrong. Obama never even called abortion wrong.

If he wins on his health care plan, all Americans will be forced to pay for abortion. All Americans will have to treat what Ronald Reagan called “the slaughter of innocents” as if it is right. No wonder President Reagan said that abortion was “a wound in our national soul.” If Obamacare passes, the wound will be mortal.

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