House Passes Health Care Reform; Religious Right Melts Down

Last night, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Senate's version of health care reform legislation, making it the latest step in what has been a long and bitter process to overhaul the nation's health care system. 

And given how vehemently opposed the Right has been to this effort, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to see that their response to this development has been nothing short of apoplectic, starting with the Susan B. Anthony List which had been planning on giving Rep. Bart Stupak its "Defender of Life" Award but has now publicly rescinded the offer

In response to Rep. Bart Stupak's announcement that he and other self-labeled "pro-life" Democrats will vote in favor of Healthcare reform legislation with the addition of an Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding, Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

"This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform-we will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country.

"Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this healthcare bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.' The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund will not endorse, or support in any capacity, any Member of Congress who votes for this bill in any future election. Now through Election Day 2010, these representatives will learn that votes have consequences. The SBA List Candidate Fund will work tirelessly to help defeat Members who support this legislation and make sure their constituents know exactly how they voted. We will actively seek out true pro-life candidates to oppose Members who vote 'yes' on this bill, whether it be in general or primary elections. For these Members, it will be a quick downhill slide to defeat in November.

That sort of over-the-top response was, frankly, the typical response from the Right, with the American Center for Law and Justice promising to file suit and everyone else vowing to vote the Democrats out of office in November:

Family Research Council:

"Passage of this partisan government takeover of health care with all of its Medicare cuts, tax increases, a continued marriage penalty, individual mandates, and abortion funding shows the extreme leftist orientation of this Congress.

"The American people, regardless of their view of its legality, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion. Those who voted for this legislation cannot legitimately claim to be even neutral on the issue of abortion. This legislation accomplishes this abortion mandate in spades.

...

"The President's disregard for the unborn is no surprise. It is the betrayal from those who have fought for life within his party that is the biggest shock. Especially Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) who had fought so valiantly in this debate, but folded when it really mattered.

"FRC Action will seek to defeat many of the Members from majority pro-life districts who voted wrong today, and they will have plenty of free time to realize the grave mistake they have committed on the unborn today with their vote."

Eagle Forum:

"Any formerly pro-life Democrat who voted ‘Yes' on the Senate health care bill tonight will be forever remembered as being among the deciding votes which facilitated the largest expansion of abortion services since Roe v. Wade."

"Mr. Stupak and his Democrat followers have now clarified that you cannot be pro-life and be a Democrat. If abortion was truly their biggest issue, they wouldn't willfully align themselves with the Party of Death."

"This vote has exposed the myth of the ‘pro-life Democrat.' With this single vote, the Democratic Party has divided our nation into the Democrat Party of Death and the Republican Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same."

Americans United for Life Action:

"This deal to pass the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade is a tragedy for America. We believe that Mr. Stupak's choice to succumb to the intense pressure of the last week has resulted in his endorsement of a charade that does not even begin to address the anti-life provisions in this legislation. The American people do not support taxpayer funding of abortion and Speaker Pelosi and the President have undermined representative democracy by working to pass this legislation with this unprecedented contortion of the legislative process."

Operation Rescue:

"Operation Rescue supports efforts to oppose this ill-conceived abortion-funding scheme in the streets through peaceful protest, in the courts, and at the ballot box," said Newman. "We are taking notes, and will let it be known that a vote for this health care bill is a vote for abortion. It is certain that in spite of the outcome of today's political shenanigans, this is not over yet."

Christian Defense Coalition:

"We are confident this will have a powerful impact on Catholic and Evangelical voters this November.

"After the defeat of the Alamo, a powerful cry was heard across the nation which has inspired Americans for generations. That cry was, 'Remember the Alamo!'

"From the ashes of this defeat, another powerful cry will be heard. 'Remember March 21!' We believe as Americans understand what happened today they will work with unprecedented passion to ensure this bill is reversed and human rights and social justice are once again embraced in this country."

Catholic Advocate:

"Today's vote will go down in history as one of the greatest expansions of abortion since Roe v. Wade," said Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson. "On November 2, American Catholics need to hold members of the House accountable for this betrayal."

"History has shown no executive order can trump the law of the land passed by Congress. Do the un-born have a champion in the Senate willing to fix the bill and truly stop federal funding for abortion?" asked Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith. "Senator Ben Nelson and others who claim to carry the pro-life mantle now have an opportunity to return their pieces of silver from December."

Concerned Women for America:

"We are not fooled," said Concerned Women for America (CWA) CEO Penny Nance. "This is the biggest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade. And a flimsy promise of an executive order from the President may make it more comfortable for "pro-life" Democrats like Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) to vote for the bill, but in the end, such an illusory promise is not even worth the paper on which it's written. Backroom deals and compromises will not soften the blow of this attack on life and liberty as we know and enjoy it. Americans will not forget those Members of Congress who refused to listen to them. They will make their voices heard in November."

Mike Huckabee:

With this vote, Congress decided what kind of health care you have access to and how much it will cost.

They also decided not to respect us and take us for fools.

I am frustrated and I know you are as well. Ten days ago I launched a website called CallCongressNow.com and asked voters to call their representatives and Senators and tell them to vote no. Over 151,000 people visited the website and spent almost 4,000 hours on making calls pleading with their leaders in Washington to vote no. This time Congress listened more to party bosses than to you.

Now there is something else you can and must do: Get personally involved to dump them. Let’s replace this Congress with Republicans that will listen to the people.