March 4th, 2010
As was reported in today's Huffington Post, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich) is threatening to torpedo the Health Care Reform bill if it fails to contain his particular language preventing the use of public funds for abortion procedures. If there were not already a law specifically preventing that very activity, this could be seen as a legitimate position.
Passed in 1976 and renewed annually, The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of any taxpayer funds in paying for an abortion accept in the case of a pregnancy which endangers the life of the expectant mother. Whether one agrees with this standing legislation is immaterial to the debate at hand. Now along comes The Stupak-Pitts amendment named for the Senator from Michigan and his ally from the so-called "Family," Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa).
For a particularly good piece on the "Family," click here.
As described in the New York Times, "The amendment prevents women who receive federal insurance subsidies from buying abortion coverage — but critics assert it could cause women who buy their own insurance difficulty in obtaining coverage."
It is worth noting that Rep. Stupak has a somewhat checkered history with regards to other issues. He has been right a lot of the time but he could not be more wrong in this instance. One has to wonder if this stridency is the price for continued membership in the "Family."