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March 18, 2010

Democrats Battle for Health Care Votes

Democrats secured more votes yesterday and could vote on health care reform as early as Sunday, The New York Times reports.

Rep. James E. Clyburn said the legislation would reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion in the next decade from reductions in the growth of Medicare spending, new fees and tax increases.

Three self-described pro-life Congressmen who voted for the Stupak amendment, Tom Perriello (D-Virginia), Dale Kildee (D-Michigan) and Jim Oberstar (D-Michigan), have declared their support for the Senate's health care legislation.

In the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus argues that the fight over abortion is minor.

If anything, both versions would end up restricting abortion coverage more than under current law. Some women whose insurance covers abortion would lose that benefit as their policies move to the new insurance exchanges.

If anything, health-care reform would reduce the number of abortions. More women would have coverage that includes contraception. Pregnant women would know that their medical care, and that of their child, would be covered.

Michael Gerson argues that proponents of health care have muddled important moral debates to get the legislation passed.

The Senate bill would allow federal subsidies to go to health plans that cover elective abortions -- under two conditions. First, the coverage would be paid for by a separate premium check required of all enrollees. Second, there would have to be at least one alternative in any regional health exchange that doesn’t offer abortion coverage.

...If the health-care reform abortion debate is really a trivial mix-up, then what are the motivations of, say, the Catholic bishops? They have been one of the most consistent supporters of universal health care in America. They view it as a matter of social justice. It is difficult to accuse them of wanting to show their political “muscle” by defeating health care or Obama. Actually, it would be libelous.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich also announced yesterday he would change his no vote on the House measure to yes on the Senate bill.

Comments

Does CT usually use the term "self described prolifer" just for democrats or will they use the term for republican politicians who support capital punishment, war, torture, land mines?

"Does CT usually use the term "self described prolifer" just for democrats or will they use the term for republican politicians who support capital punishment, war, torture, land mines?"

U.S ABORTIONS SINCE 1973 = 52,000,000 (MILLION)!

U.S. EXECUTIONS SINCE 1930 = Total 4,958

All life is precious... But the people on death roe had a choice and knew what the consequences were. The 52 MILLION babies who were killed never had a choice.

Murder is murder and not execution or war. It doesnt matter what age a child is if you kill it you killed it.

Mark 10:14 "...Jesus... said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." 4000 babies/day aborted. 1.5 million babies/year aborted. 52,000,000 dead babies since 1972! That's alot of dead babies! I remember when Roe v. Wade became law. Those sanctimonious proabort politicians would say sanctimoniously (I used sanctimonious twice in the same sentence - as an adjective and as an adverb - Oh the cleverness of me!) "A woman's choice is between her, her clergyman, and God." Now they say it is just her decision leaving the clergyman and God out of the loop. I wonder if that is because the clergymen - ooops! "clergyperson" - and God disapproved of the abortions one too many times. What a macabre right our Supreme Court found nestled between the lines of our constitution. To pass a law that grants a woman a choice whether or not to kill her child seems antithetical to America's professed beliefs. Whatever happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Gone. And I wonder if those women who have chosen to abort their babies have ever called and thanked their mothers for not aborting them? I wonder. May God have mercy on us and on our children.

As for Catholic Bishops AND the other religious groups commenting on the bill, for or against: they should be cautious in commenting on individual bills, without giving up their witness on issues generally. As the former Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple wrote (it's a long quote, but rich, so take it one bite at a time):

The method of the Chruch's impact upon society at large should be twofold. First, the Church must announce Christian principles and point out where the existing social order is in conflict with them. Second, it must then pass on to Christian citizens, acting in their civic capacities, the taks of reshaping the existing order in closer conformity t othe principles.
At this point, technical knowledge and practical judgements will be required. For example, if a bridge is to be built, the Church may remind the engineer that it is his obligation to provide a safe bridge, but is not entitled to tell him how to build in or whether his design meets this requirement [unless] a particular theologian may also be a competent engineer, and in this case he may be entitled to make a judgment on its safety...
The Church is likely to be attacked by both sides if it does its duty. It will be told that it has become "political" when in fact it has merely stated its principles and pointed out when they have been breached. The Church will be told by advocates of particular policies [e.g., pro or con Healthcare Bill] that it is futile because it does not support theirs. If the Church is faithful to its commission, it will ignore both sets of complaints and continue as far as it can to influence all citizens and permeate all parties.

That's something to chew on. Just because one's a bishop or Evangelical or whatever doesn't give one the right to comment on whether a complex bill is "pro-life enough"; the technically competent person can. The Church sets down the foundational ethic; the technically competent build on it, whatever their arena. Your thoughts?

"Evangelical or whatever doesn't give one the right to comment on whether a complex bill is "pro-life enough"; the technically competent person can."
Technically competent? And who might that be? What superhuman intelligence can understand the 2000+ pages of gobbledy gook crafted by gobbledy gooking gobbledy gookers.

"The Church sets down the foundational ethic; the technically competent build on it, whatever their arena. Your thoughts?"
Pro-life is not the only consideration. Economics is a biggie, too. And judging by past performance,the guvmunt is not the most reliable when it comes to budget predictions. I guarantee you this: $600 toilet seats(1) will look like a good deal when compared to what this health reform will cost us. If you think this will lower the deficit, better consider again the govt.s past performance.

(1)$600 toilet seats: back in the '70's it was discovered the Navy had spent as much as $600 for toilet seats on their ships.

(Here is a spox - I think - for congress explaining the health care reform bill so that anyone can understand it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EjlXaBQFq8)

How many of the 4,958 executions since 1930 were of people wrongly convicted? If it was only one, that settles the issue. God does not give man the choice of life or death; He reserves that choice exlusively for Himself. I am reminded of the only time in Scripture where Jesus was confronted with a person charged with a capital offense, and when asked what they should do, the Lord said: "Whoever is without sin cast the first stone."
How anyone can be anti-abortion and pro-execution is a mystery. The fact that the criminal "had a choice" in committing his crime does not take the issue of life and death out of the Lord's hands.
Murder is murder, whether at the hands of a mother or at the hands of a state-sponsored executioner. But hey, life is cheap, right?

"The fact that the criminal "had a choice" in committing his crime does not take the issue of life and death out of the Lord's hands.
Murder is murder, whether at the hands of a mother or at the hands of a state-sponsored executioner. But hey, life is cheap, right?"

-The Bible has established that lawful force to exercise authority, up to and including deadly force is acceptable. In Romans 13:4 God's word says that the government is a minister, a helper to those who do what is good. But to those that would do evil, they should be afraid; because the government does not bear the sword for nothing.The Bible has established that lawful force to exercise authority, up to and including deadly force is acceptable.

Um, no one said life is cheap. However, I don't know how you can compare 52 million lives to 4,958 lives... 4,958 lives that committed horrendous crimes. I can't understand people who are pro-choice, and support women who kill their child. And sorry, if John Wayne Gacy decides to dress as a clown and kill 26 people... well, then I guess he decided his own fate.

You say, if only one was wrongly convicted that is enough. I wonder how many killers and rapists were thrown back out on the street? So what would you tell the people who are the victims of their crimes? I'm curious.

"How many of the 4,958 executions since 1930 were of people wrongly convicted? If it was only one, that settles the issue." A fair question.

But:
Rom. 3:23 - ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
And:
Rom. 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death,
So, we all deserve death but - and here's the wonderful part - God says in Isaiah 63:9 - "...in his love and in his pity he redeemed them [us]..." and the second part of Rom. 6:23 - "...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

So here's my question: How many of the 52,000,000 aborted babies were guilty - of anything? OF ANYTHING??? Except maybe just being an inconvenience to their parents - yes, dads, too, are often guilty. But they were - all 52,000,000 of them - executed LEGALLY by
(1)Suction Aspiration or
(2)Dilation and Curettage (D&C) or
(3)Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) or
(4)Salt Poisoning (Saline Injection) or
(5)Prostaglandin Chemical Abortion or
(6)Hysterotomy or Caesarean Section or
(7) Partial-Birth Abortion

So here we have the Great Holocaust and of our age. A culture that kills its young is doomed for the ash heap of history.

Matthew 2:18
18In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.


Brendan, I don't think just continuing to state the principles without diving into the details gets us beyond the infuriatingly incorrect "it funds abortion" "no it doesn't" circular debate. Particularly when it comes to legislation or legal matters, the details are important.

For example, the Senate language was meant by its drafters to be a compromise between the Stupak language and the earlier House language, which was itself a compromise between the even earlier House language and those who wanted no language, which was itself a compromise between the Democratic leadership, some of who support federal funding of abortion, and Democratic pro-lifers, who thought they had an agreement from the outset to neither fund abortion nor prohibit a woman from using her own money to purchase coverage for abortion.

CT's continuous reporting that the Stupak amendment took abortion funding out of the House bill, or that Stupak barred abortion funding while the Senate bill permitted it, was just false. It was actually a highly technical debate over HOW to segregate the federal funding from the personal premium payments. The nuances between the House and Senate bills are minimal and I think the Bishops' position that one can no longer call oneself "pro-life" if one votes for the Senate language is highly suspect theologically. But, I only know that because they finally explained the details of what they objected to specifically.

If the Bishops, or anyone else wants to claim that the reason they oppose/support a bill is because the bill would do X or Y, by using what the lawyers call "conclusory language," they need to explain why they believe that so that the actual language can be read to see if they are telling the truth or not. Just because some religious authority figure tells you something doesn't mean it's true. God gave us minds. He must have meant for us to use them.

On the other hand, if what you're trying to say is that pro-life people (or any group that holds a conviction) can differ about the technical means of achieving or supporting that principle, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Keeping the teaching to principles allows us to acknowledge disagreement over means while agreeing on ends. But, here, the Bishops weren't just stating principles. They were stating conclusions. Stating principles and allowing parishoners to draw their own conclusion from a full explanation of the facts is one thing. But, just spouting conclusions without letting anyone know the true facts doesn't allow for either respectful or intelligent dialogue.

I'm not defending abortion at all, I'm as pro-life as the next evangelical Christian. I just find it rather bias of CT to use the use the term "self described pro-life" for Democratic lawmakers when there are certainly as many in the GOP who make compromises to their life ethics in lawmaking.

Lets set aside our labels and factions for a moment to ask tough questions about being for life and human flourishing from the cradle to the grave.