Harry Reid has insisted for years that he supports the pro-life cause in the Senate, despite his role as a Democratic Party leader. He has provided votes to prohibit federal funding of abortions, most recently in February 2008, along with eight other Democratic Senators. However, John McCormack of The Weekly Standard reports that Reid may have shifted — and significantly — towards the pro-abortion lobby. In a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Reid reversed himself:
TWS: Senator, progressive Rev. Jim Wallis recently said that including abortion provisions in health care reform would kill health care reform. One, do you agree with that assessment? And, two, will you vote for a health care bill that covers abortion?
Senator Reid: Does what with abortion?
TWS: Covered it–provided insurance coverage for abortion.
Senator Reid: Well, first of all abortion is an important issue, very emotional issue, but we have to recognize that unintended pregnancies is where we should focus our attention. Unintended pregnancies wind up–half of them wind up in abortions, so everything we can do to limit the number of unintended pregnancies helps with the number of abortions. I think that it’s very obvious we don’t do enough in that regard. I’ve worked–I don’t want to boast, but I think I’ve been the leader if not one of the leaders in promoting legislation dealing with contraceptives. Hillary Clinton was a tremendous asset in that regard, and it’s kind of unusual with someone with my standing about abortion to be awarded in Nevada a legislative year award by Planned Parenthood. So I think I’m heading in the right direction.
Since the soliloquy above appeared non-responsive, John asked the question again:
Reid didn’t answer the question directly, so after the meeting concluded, THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked him again if he could support a national health care bill that provided coverage for abortion. “I could,” Reid replied.
Read all of John’s post to find out how Reid’s office reacted to John’s question, and especially to the answer Reid provided. Needless to say, they refused to comment on the substance of Reid’s answer, and instead tried insulting John. Great strategy, folks!
It’s not just difficult to describe one’s self as pro-life while voting to provide federal funding for abortions; it’s entirely contradictory. One cannot be “pro-life” while funding the destruction of human children in the womb. It’s the same as insisting that one is frequently celibate. Even some pro-choice advocates don’t want tax dollars paying for abortions, and abortion opponents see such funding as cooperation with a great, intrinsic evil.
This points out, though, the crisis that will come with a nationalized health-care system. People who advocate for such a system will have a difficult time rationalizing the exclusion of abortion. The Obama plan will almost certainly override the Hyde Amendment, despite Obama’s promises to respect it. Harry Reid apparently understands this and has already rearranged his “pro-life” values accordingly.