There's a shit storm going down on TV right now on CSPAN as the health care bill hits the floor of the House.
Thank you Democrats, for making women take a punch in the throat from a bunch of old men who have spent the better part of the last century avoiding their own problems. So Rahm and Obama (who did nothing to stop it) can have their "w":
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops delivered a critical endorsement to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday by signing off on late-night agreement to grant a vote on an amendment barring insurance companies that participate in the exchange from covering abortions.
"Passing this amendment allows the House to meet our criteria of preserving the existing protections against abortion funding in the new legislation," the Bishops wrote in a letter to individual members. "Most importantly, it will ensure that no government funds will be used for abortion or health plans which include abortion."
Well, you have to give the culture warriors something, so they can go around cheering about the big victory that they got in this bill. So happy to have the chance to line it all up for you all.
Thank you, Planned Parenthood and NARAL, from the bottom of my heart, for sitting on your hands and enabling this shit. Hope you have fun at all those Common Purpose meetings, those cocktail parties at the Pelosi's.
You own this one.
It's not like they haven't been perfecting this act for a long time. Helping the Democrats stay in power by giving them the Official Good Gyno Seal of Approval even when they do things like - oh, I don't know, voting for Samuel Alito and tell rape victims to take a cab to another hospital if they want to get Plan B contraception.
Could they whip the pro-choice women to block the rule if they want to? Of course they could. Yank their endorsements and they could cause havoc in the Democratic party. But they won't, because Nancy Keenan and Cecile Richards value their own personal position in the veal pen pecking order WAY too much for that.
One of the things that made a fight for a public option possible was because there were no "veal pen" validators occupying the health care space. Nobody knows who HCAN is. The White House tried to press the unions and other veal pen groups into service but progressives standing there ready to shoot on sight made everyone else back away for fear of losing their own credibility.
People think the "veal pen" phenomenon is insignificant, but it's not. The abortion fight - like the environmental fight - is extremely difficult to wage online, because you can't activate those who care about the issue if the "brand names," the issue validators, are telling them everything is fine either by action or inaction. And that's exactly what the Democrats - from the White House on down to Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership - want right now.
But let's be clear about this. The only reason that we are in the position where the price of passing health care reform is allowing even liberal Marcy Kaptur to sneeringly dismiss choice activists as narrow class warriors who don't care about working women is because Planned Parenthood and NARAL have allowed it to happen. They collect millions of dollars in revenue each year. They've exacted no price from the Marcy Kapturs of the world, who actually have to care what liberals think of them, and focused instead on anti-choice Republicans who are only empowered by their ire. They have no scalps. There is no price for bucking Planned Parenthood and NARAL. It isn't a fight that the Democrats want to spend "political capital" on, and these groups insure that they don't have to.
Forget about the fact that more Americans are now anti-choice than pro-choice for the first time since Gallup has been polling the issue. More and more Democrats in Congress each year are anti-choice, despite the fact that the party is pro-choice. It's acceptable now. These groups have the lobbyists, the money, the access, and their leadership uses it for their own personal advancement while the cause they purport to defend withers on the vine.
The national Planned Parenthood organization listed $126 million in assets in 2007. Cecile Richards made $385,163 (PDF). The state chapters whose employees put their lives on the line so women can have the right to choose deserve support and protection within the Democratic party that she is not providing.
They knew this was coming since at least July 1 - and they didn't even raise money for the fight.