Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Was abortion always the motivating factor behind Obamacare?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 29, 2013

For months the American bishops struggled mightily to convince President Obama that he should exclude abortion coverage from his health-care plan. Did they ever have a chance? The question may be moot now. Still let's pursue it, if only for the sake of the historical record.

You already know that President Obama denounced pro-lifers (including the bishops, presumably) at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser last week. But you might have missed this passage from Obama’s talk:

Forty years after the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to privacy, including the right to choose, we shouldn’t have to remind people that when it comes to a woman’s health, no politician should get to decide what’s best for you. No insurer should get to decide what kind of care that you get. The only person who should get to make decisions about your health is you. (Applause.) That’s why we fought so hard to make health care reform a reality.

Actually, with Obamacare in place, the insurers will quite emphatically tell you what kind of care you can get, with the politicians looking over their shoulders. But the White House will be satisfied as along as that care includes access to taxpayer-subsidized abortion. But a more important point was drawn out by Robert Royal for The Catholic Thing:

And now the president himself tells us that the “right to choose” is “why we fought so hard to make health care reform a reality”?

If the abortion issue was the reason why Obama “fought so hard” to put his plan in place, was it ever realistic to think that he would accept health-care reform without abortion coverage? Not likely.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 30, 2013 11:02 AM ET USA

    "Love is hate; war is peace; freedom is slavery." George Orwell, 1984. "Death panels are choice." Barack Obama, 2013

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Apr. 30, 2013 7:58 AM ET USA

    Oh, let's remember, Obama promised Cardinal Dolan that he (Dolan) would be happy with what comes out of the Congress re:healthcare. And Dolan believed him!!!! Obama put him on the sideline while he and Pelosi crafted Obamacare. Then when Dolan squawked, Obama decided to negotiate, with Dolan, of course not, with the Catholics who held his view on healthcare. The bishops have been played like a fiddle on this issue. Wonder when they will draw a line? Ever?

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 30, 2013 7:42 AM ET USA

    I hope the USCCB learned the hard way that you can't work with someone who is fundamentally opposed to your core teachings. Unfortunately, too many in the USCCB still have the belief that, aside from those messy life issues, a Catholic can still support the Democrat welfare state.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 29, 2013 9:22 PM ET USA

    Perhaps our bishops feel that they can harness the devil himself to accomplish their purposes.