Reproductive rights is the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. Democratic activists take as a given that Democratic politicians will protect a women's right and ability to choose. Last night the Democrats all but gave away a woman's ability to choose, although they still gave lip service to a woman's right to choose.
64 Democrats voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment, which greatly expands the ban on federal funding of abortion, and reaches deep to make it difficult for women to obtain private health insurance covering abortion. 219 Democrats voted in favor of a final bill incorporating the amendment.
This is a stunning development, one which anti-abortion activists could not have imagined just weeks ago. The Speaker of the House and Democratic majority, notwithstanding their lip service to women's reproductive rights, were willing to throw those rights aside to hand the Obama administration a temporary legislative victory.
That victory already has evaporated, as the House bill has been pronounced dead-on-arrival at the Senate. But the effects of casting aside traditional Democratic protection for a women's ability to choose will be felt for a long time.
The Stupak Amendment is the new norm. Any future health care legislation will use the Stupak formula as a given.
Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-La), the sole Republican voting in favor of the health care bill last night, has been harshly criticised for exchanging his vote for a promise of federal aid to his district.
Cao sold his seat last night for something. The Democrats sold their party's soul for nothing.
Now tell me again what a great victory the Democrats achieved last night.
UPDATE: I think it's beginning to sink in:
- Whose health care victory?
- Stupak Amendment Makes a Good Day Bad
- Just so we’re clear
- Dems Sell Women’s Rights Down River Of Health Care Denial
- House Representatives Vote 'No' On Women's Rights, 'Yes' On War
- A Stupak amendment of our own
- Assault on women's reproductive rights continues with a vengeance
- Stupak Amendment Passes; 64 Dems Ask for Primary Opponents
Now Politico is on the story: Pelosi's hardball tactics on the abortion issue brought "tears from some veteran female lawmakers."
UPDATE No. 2: Told ya so:
President Obama and Senate Democrats sought on Sunday to generate momentum from the House's passage of health-care legislation, even as a new hurdle emerged: profound dismay among abortion-rights supporters over antiabortion provisions inserted into the House bill....
"There's going to be a firestorm here," [Colorado Rep. Diana] DeGette said. "Women are going to realize that a Democratic-controlled House has passed legislation that would prohibit women paying for abortions with their own funds. . . . We're not going to let this into law."