Across the room, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, a pro-life Catholic, listened in silence. But a few minutes later a reporter asked his opinion on abortion coverage in the Senate version of health reform. "We want to make sure that there is no federal funding of abortion," began Casey, but Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow quickly cut him off.The article also mentions that Senator Casey is working on an amendment help for pregnant women amendment which doesn’t really alleviate prolife concerns with the bill.
"We do not have funding for abortion services in these bills," she said. "Senator Casey doesn't need to worry about it. He can vote for health reform.”
Casey smiled patiently, but stood his ground. "We need more work done on this."
Shaking her head, Stabenow jumped in again. "This health care debate is not about changing current policy on abortion," she said. "There is no funding for abortion. So there should be no problem." Unfortunately for Stabenow and other Democrats, in the month since that meeting abortion has become very much a problem — if not the biggest hurdle — in passing health care reform.
Father Roger Landry discusses Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s position on abortion and summarizing Kennedy‘s dispute with Bishop Tobin.
Congressman Kennedy’s position on abortion can be viewed as the confused fruit of the scandalous incoherence of his father’s generation with regard to the faith and the sanctity of human life. Since that scandal was inadequately addressed and corrected, the confusion in the second generation is much greater than in the first. That’s why the efforts of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin to remedy that confusion are relevant not merely to Congressman Kennedy, but to the whole Church.
Richard Doerflinger, from the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ prolife office has a good quote in this Wall Street Journal article.
"We want everybody covered and nobody deliberately killed," said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the group's secretariat of pro-life activities. "It doesn't seem to us an unreasonable request for health care."
Jessica Arons at the liberal Center for American Progress somehow thinks this chart shows that the Capps amendment is closer to the status quo than the Stupak amendment. Pro-choicers don’t seem to understand that if tax dollars are used to make insurance cheaper and that insurance includes abortion, then tax-dollars are subsidizing abortion, regardless of whether the abortion is paid for with tax dollars or with premium money. This is a grand departure from the current policy in which no federal tax dollars are used to pay for or subsidize abortion. One positive thing about the chart is that it does make it fairly clear that the Capps amendment doesn’t keep the status quo.