As the House gears up for a final move on ObamaCare, the media are doing everything they can to pressure pro-lifers to accept federal funding for abortion while helping the Obama administration downplay what that means.
Instead of respecting the conscience of a pro-life politician, news outlets have launched an all-out campaign to blame House Democrat Bart Stupak for thwarting ObamaCare. Of course he's not pro-life, he's "anti-abortion," and he's willing to let millions of helpless Americans go without healthcare to satisfy some personal agenda.
The AP's Liz Sidoti set the tone on Saturday with a snarky, pouty article about Democrats who don't go along with what Obama wants. Gone were the days of patriotic dissent as Sidoti blamed obstructionists for trying to kill ObamaCare (h/t LiveAction):
A dozen or so anti-abortion House Democrats are opposing Obama's health care overhaul plan-and putting its passage in jeopardy-because it includes a provision they don't like. The absence of a public insurance option in the legislation also has angered the left.
Amazing. ObamaCare has been "in jeopardy" for a year now because of intense public opposition and a slew of issues with contradictory language, but Sidoti only saw unruly Democrats as the reason. The article never mentioned "pro-life" language and never brought in anyone to defend Stupak's side. According to Sidoti, pro-life Democrats are willing to stop the entire bill over "a provision they don't like".
That provision happens to revolve around federal funding for abortion, which would be a major change in American law since 1976. It was just a few months ago that the House voted for a government healthcare plan that kept limitations on abortion funding.
But flaming liberals in the Senate would have none of that, and some of them threatened to sabotage ObamaCare if they didn't get their way.
Of course the AP's interest in compromise stopped on the right. There was no need to ask pro-choice Democrats to back off their pet "provisions" that would change established law. When liberals in the Senate threatened to put the bill in jeopardy without public funding, the AP was there to play cheerleader:
Anticipating the showdown, hundreds of abortion rights supporters gathered on Capitol Hill Wednesday to call on senators to keep new abortion restrictions out of the health care bill. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., plans to unveil an anti-abortion amendment as early as Thursday that abortions rights supporters inside the Senate and out say they can't support. [...]
Several House Democrats spoke, vowing to oppose final passage of any health bill with the tough abortion restrictions already approved by the House. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., called it "a devil's bargain" that she couldn't accept.
So pro-life Democrats were putting healthcare "in jeopardy" unless they got their way, but liberals in the same situation were bravely holding the line against "a devil's bargain". This is what the AP calls being fair and balanced.
Over at CBS, things were not much better. The Political Hotsheet blog called Stupak one of the "anti-abortion rights House Democrats" simply for resisting an unprecedented expansion of public funding. America can debate the right to have an abortion, but it's another thing entirely to believe women have a right to tax dollars that pay for it.
Not to be outdone, the NY Times jumped in Sunday with a blatant attempt to discredit pro-lifers by parroting spin from the White House. The article whipped up fear among readers by claiming in the first paragraph that "groups that want to outlaw abortion" are pushing for a funding limit.
Of course hardline pro-lifers are speaking in support of the Stupak amendment, but it takes an amazing leap of logic to decide that specific point is relevant to the debate. Voting against ObamaCare to stop federal funding is a far cry from trying to abolish the practice altogether. But again, the mainstream media reveal their true feelings: any threat to abortion on demand, even a lack of personal finances, is a threat to women's very rights.
The article then sought to accuse pro-lifers of falsehoods with a memo from Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
But analysts say the claims are mostly false, and the Obama administration is now pushing back.
An internal Health and Human Services department memo maintains that the Community Health Center Fund established by the health care legislation would not change existing federal laws and rules, including the so-called Hyde amendment, that bar the use of federal money for abortions "except in cases of rape or incest, or whether the life of the woman would be endangered."
"The president and Secretary Sebelius have repeatedly stated their strong commitment to ensuring that health insurance reform does not change the status quo on abortion policy," the memo states.
"There have been concerns that the Senate bill does not include an explicit provision that would subject these new funds to the abortion-related restrictions under the Hyde Amendment," the memo states. "Regardless of whether the Senate bill would do so, there have existed for over 30 years regulations that prohibit federal funds from being used for abortion services."
Whoah, whoah, back up the truck. Regardless of whether the Senate bill would do so? What does that mean?
Doing the kind of actual journalism the NY Times won't, Life News dug into exactly what "the Senate bill would do" on the issue of abortion. Back in December, Sebelius gave a low-key interview to the feminist website BlogHer where she specifically said the Senate bill would "take a big step forward" to get away from the Stupak amendment.
Apparently thinking that only pro-choice zealots would bother watching, Sebelius felt comfortable gushing how great the bill would be for abortion. She admitted that "everyone in the exchange would pay" for abortion through a clever "accounting procedure" designed to bypass the law.
So the Senate bill does indeed force the general public to give money to the government for the purpose of funding abortion...but we're supposed to believe that "regardless" of the language in the bill, nothing will change.
Either Congress is passing laws with the intention of ignoring its own language, or Sebelius is spinning to make pro-lifers look like the bad guys.
Which one is it? Don't expect the NY Times to ask.
In the midst of countless corruption scandals, shameless bribes, backroom arm twisting, and White House officials contradicting themselves in the media, liberal reporters are content to blame pro-lifers for being the problem. And even when a pro-life group catches Sebelius doing the two-step, newspapers cover it by printing a PR letter from her office.
Regardless of what the Senate bill says, and regardless of Stupak's fight to preserve the law, readers can be sure the mainstream media will seemingly report whatever the White House tells them.