Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,934 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

one battle won; prepare for more

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 09, 2009

The adoption of the Stupak amendment, as the result of tough bargaining on Capitol Hill over health-care reform proposals, was a significant victory for pro-life forces.*  But let's keep things in perspective: it was a victory in one isolated battle, not in the whole campaign. There will be more battles to fight.

For instance, when the scene shifts to the Senate, if pro-life forces waver at all, the Stupak language might be dropped from the Senate version of the bill. Then the differences between the two pieces of legislation would be ironed out by a conference committee, in a process dominated by the Democratic Party leadership. There's little chance that the Stupak language would survive.

Moreover, the moral problem posed by subsidies for abortion will be raised again and again in any government-financed system for health care. Should taxpayers subsidize sterilization? Sex-change operations? Physician-assisted suicide? Transplants of vital organs removed from comatose patients? A Wall Street Journal editorial explains the underlying problem:

The real importance of the abortion uproar is as preview of the politics that will dominate every medical coverage issue if ObamaCare becomes law. Every decision of what to insure or not—when an MRI can be used, or whether a stage-four breast cancer patient can get Avastin or some future expensive drug—will become subject to political intervention over moral disputes or budget constraints.

----------------

Some pro-lifers, I realize, question whether the Stupak amendment really was a victory. If the amendment was a compromise that made the whole health-care package more likely to become law, they reason, it was unwise to support it. I disagree, for two reasons:

  1. A vote for the Stupak amendment was not a vote in favor of "Obamacare," but a vote to remove one of the most odious provisions of the proposal. Nobody wants to eat a bowl of dirt. But if you're afraid that you might be forced to do so, even though you'll fight against it, it makes sense to have the arsenic removed from the bowl beforehand.
  2. Oddly enough, passage of the Stupak amendment could make it less likely, not more, that Obamacare will become law. As long as the pro-life language stays in the bill, some hard-care leftists will oppose the legislation. If the same piece of legislation comes up in the House of Representatives again, powerful lobbies like Planned Parenthood will be working against it. 

 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,313 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,687.05
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 4 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 8 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6