Congressman Bart Stupak is holding a news conference as I write with his fellow pro-life Democrats. They announced an agreement with the White House for an executive order that confirms a pro-life interpretation of any ambiguous aspects of the current health care bill. Some on the Left charged that Stupak’s concern about the abortion language in the bill was all a ruse to defeat the health care bill. They owe the congressman an apology – he held the critical, decisive number of votes in his group, and he has delivered them.
Stupak’s commitment to pro-life principles in beyond question; in this murky world of politics if anything is clear, it is clear that Stupak was willing to defeat the bill unless he felt his concerns about abortion funding were met. So, it will be interesting to see which groups – and which Catholic blogs – denounce him now. This will distinguish those whose primary concern is for the protection of unborn life from those whose primary concern is the promotion of the GOP’s agenda.
Stupak’s courage is pretty stunning, too. He stood his ground and because the ground on which he stood was a principled ground, he could fend off attempts to placate him with other non-related sweeteners or with any backroom deals. He has earned the respect of everyone involved in this health care debate. Still, I will wager any amount of money that within hours, the cries of “Judas” will be hurled his way. I hurl a different cry toward the Congressman from Michigan and his allies: Vivat!