WSJ on MSW

That's today's Wall Street Journal on America blog's Michael Sean Winters.The column is discussing the attempts of Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich) to put forward an amendment opposing federal funding of abortions, and the lack of enthusiasm for his efforts on the part of the leadership.Here's where Michael Sean comes in:

Of course, it's hardly news that Democrats find dealing with a pro-lifer in their midst tricky. What is astounding is the virtual silence from the chorus that thumped so loudly for Mr. Obama's words at Notre Dame. Presumably, Mr. Stupak is their mana courageous and committed Democrat who wants health-care reform to pass. Yet the liberal religious folks who claim to be pro-life as well as pro-Obama have largely left Mr. Stupak standing alone.Except Michael Sean Winters. In a July 14 blog for the Catholic weekly America, Mr. Winters drew a line in the sand over tax funding for abortion."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," he wrote. "[But] 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."Mr. Winters is right. No oneincluding outside groups such as FactCheck.orgbelieves the Democrats are being upfront about the abortion funding in their legislation. And long after this health-care debate has ended, many will judge the Democrats' claims about finding "common ground" by how the party handles Mr. Stupak and his amendment.

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.

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