From the story in today's New York Times:

Ms. Pelosi, the first woman speaker and an ardent defender of abortion rights, had no choice but to do the unthinkable. To save the health care bill she had to give in to abortion opponents in her party and allow them to propose tight restrictions barring any insurance plan that is purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions.

The Stupak amendment passed thanks to the hard work of Representative Stupak and his supporters in Congress and the United States Bishops Conference who joined their ardent support for universal health care with their principled opposition to abortion funding.I am personally grateful to Michael Sean Winters on the America blog for his steadfast advocacy of the Stupak amendment.Winters writes today:

There are kudos aplenty to go around this morning, but I really cant express sufficiently my admiration for the work of the USCCB and CHA. All uninsured Americans owe them a debt of gratitude. All future expectant mothers who discover that their health care covers the cost of pre-natal care but not abortion services owe them a debt of gratitude. And, all of us Catholics who care about human dignity and human life owe them a debt of gratitude. Now, on to the Senate and lets win there too.

This is an important first step, but far from the end of a process that will require both ongoing support and careful vigilance.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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