Did Obama Read the Whole Encyclical?

Michael Sean Winters contributes regularly to the America blog: "In All Things." He strikes me as being both theologically knowledgeable and politically savvy. I believe him to be a not uncritical admirer of President Obama. Thus I find one of his posts today particularly powerful. He begins:

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions turned down an amendment that would have prevented any government health insurance plan from paying for abortion services. It is unclear yet whether this is part of a legislative strategy but it is time for Catholic Democrats to lay down some markers.

And concludes:

Many of us pro-life Democrats have given the President the benefit of the doubt on the abortion issue because of his repeated commitment to trying to lower the abortion rate, a commitment he reiterated to Pope Benedict XVI last week. All the good will he has earned among Catholic swing voters, and all the arguments on his behalf progressive Catholics have mounted, all could be swept away if abortion is part of a federal option in health care. Politics is the art of compromise, but on this point, there can be none.

The rest is here, including a relevant comment from the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee who says, in part: "As currently written, these bills would result in the biggest expansion of abortion access since Roe v. Wade. This legislation poses mortal peril to the unborn and it is on a fast track."

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is the author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination.

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