reports that Senator Bob Casey Jr. will not say whether he agrees with the statement by Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Regali who said that Catholic politicians cannot in good conscience vote for the Senate health care reform bill without substantial changes because the bill would fund abortions. Casey refuses to comment: “I’m not one who compares what I say versus what someone else says about the bill.” CNSNews also reports that Casey indicates he will support an amendment similar to the Stupak amendment passed in the House of Representatives, but he will not introduce it himself. Profile in courage he is not.

He also told CNSNews:

“I’ll state my position–which has been my position from the very beginning–which is that we’ve had a consensus in this country for more than two decades that taxpayer dollars don’t pay for abortions.

“What we’re trying to do in this debate, among many things we’re trying to achieve here, is to continue the consensus that’s been in existence for 25 years that taxpayer dollars don’t pay for abortion.
“It’s not easy to achieve that, it’s complicated, but that’s what we’re working on and that’s where we have this debate that’s taking place now on the floor with regard to abortion, as well as many, many other issues that are important to health care.”

The consensus he is trying to uphold is the Hyde Amendment, which has been documented here at Soconvivium and by groups such as the National Right to Life Committee, Susan B. Anthony List, and Americans United for Life as insufficient to prevent the direct and indirect funding of abortion by taxpayers. He then gives the classic pro-abortion dodge that the issue is complicated, which should signal to pro-lifers that he is about to betray them. The complication is explaining how he will abandon the pro-life principles he has publicly professed but thus far not acted on as a legislator. He has that explanation ready: there are many other issues that are important to health care. In other words, he is not going to fight the good fight on abortion funding if it will derail the larger liberal Democrat goal of Obamacare.

Oswald Clark is the economics reporter of The Interim and an Ottawa and Boston based economist.