The House passed its version of health-care legislation Saturday night by a vote of 220 to 215 after the approval of an amendment which amounts to a not-very-back door abortion ban for everyone but the very rich. Presented by Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan with the strong backing of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the amendment would prohibit abortion coverage in the government-run plan and any private plan on the new marketplace that accepts people who are using government subsidies to buy coverage.
[There'll be an interesting conversation about this with Frances Kissling and others today on GRITtv.org]
It's sexist, it's classist, it goes well beyond the heinous Hyde Amendment ban on public funding for abortion--and it passed with the support of 64 Democrats, roughly a quarter of the caucus.
House liberals say they voted for it to keep the process of reform moving forward towards a majority but women are the majority -- of Americans, of voters, of Democrats, and pro-choice women outnumber the other sort. The House move had less to do with majority than it had to do with theocracy.
Why is it that from Bangor to the Beltway, church pressure works on even liberal Democrats, even as no politician in America seems to be afraid of losing votes over being anti-choice?
Obama left the abortion issue unmentioned Sunday when he appeared in the White House Rose Garden to congratulate the House on its "courage."
Bunk. "Now it falls on the United States Senate to take the baton and bring this effort to the finish line on behalf of the American people," said Obama.
Now, it seems to me it falls on pro-choicers to demand an answer to the question raised by Jodi Jacobson on RH Reality Check. "What does Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi or any other member of Congress owe the Catholic Bishops that they do not owe the majority of women in this country? What does Obama owe the Bishops that he does not owe you and me?"
It's not too late for voters to lay siege to their Senators. And it's not too late for the liberal campaign contributors to close their wallets until they find out.
Laura Flanders is the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.