When the Catholic church can be swayed on an abortion issue, there is trouble.
The Catholic Health Association, which represents more than 600 Catholic hospitals in the US, came out earlier this week in favor of the president’s plan, arguing that comprehensive reform is a “moral imperative.” On Wednesday, 60 Catholic nuns representing most of the nation’s 59,000 nuns sent a letter to Congress, also urging passage of the bill.It makes you wonder what they were tempted by to be wishy washy on such a paramount issue for them.
Increasingly, abortion foes – including high-profile Catholic organizations and members of Congress – are saying that while the language aimed at preventing use of federal funds for abortion is not perfect, the bill is still worth passing as a first step.As a first step? Isn't that the same as "giving the enemy a foothold"? There sure is a lot of flip flopping on moral imperatives during this aministration, and it's spreading!
Congressmen break ranks. In addition, some Catholic Democrats in Congress who oppose abortion have begun to peel away and signal either definite or likely support for the president’s plan, which is the Senate-passed version, plus fixes (none of them abortion-related). “At this point, I’m confident the Senate language upholds my pro-life values,” said Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) of Ohio on a conference call Thursday.Fortunately, not all Catholics have given up their convictions.
And there is still hope that not even the Catholic democrat's blessing will ultimately matter in passing the bill.
The one-two punch represents an extraordinary display of dissent against the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the official leadership of the US church, which favors universal healthcare but opposes the president’s plan over the abortion issue.
Staunch opponents hold firmOpponents of abortion rights have been running ads in the districts of members like Wilson and Congressman Kildee, trying to persuade them to vote against healthcare reform. They are now expanding their campaign.Hang in there Congressman Stupak! There will be a reward on the other side of the persecution!
The group Americans United for Life Action (AUL) has devoted more than $350,000 to the campaign. Despite signs that Obama’s campaign to pass reform has momentum, AUL president Charmaine Yoest says she still doesn’t see how House speaker Nancy Pelosi gets the 216 votes she needs to pass the bill.
“This is tight enough that she’s really got to get every person she needs to get this over the finish line,” says Ms. Yoest.
Stupak himself says he has suffered for his advocacy, calling his life a “living hell” in an interview with The Hill newspaper. “People saying they’re going to spit on you and all this,” he says. “That’s just not fun.”He may not feel it inside the beltway, but around the country, many are cheering him on!