The health care debate in the United States has become a debate about abortion. Some advocates of health care reform are blaming pro-lifers in general and the Catholic bishops in particular for delaying and perhaps even eventually scuttling the reform bill. It is true abortion politics might end up preventing the bill from passing but that is because abortion advocates in Congress are insistent that federally subsidized insurance programs cover abortion; the Senate version even mandates increased abortion subsidies.
Rep. Bart Stupak, a pro-life Democrat offered an amendment that would prevent taxpayer funding of abortion. Nancy Pelosi, the pro-abortion Speaker of House, initially refused a vote on the amendment until it was obvious that without the Stupak amendment, health care reform would not pass the House of Representatives. The same debate is on-going in the Senate.
Abortion is not health care and it does not belong in the health care bill. If the legislation goes down because it expands abortion access and funding, it deserves to be defeated.