The latest on health care reform and abortion
The important piece here is that the proposal coming out of the White House favors the Nelson approach on abortion. Assuming for the sake of argument that the USCCB is correct that this is inadequate, should this mean that it is time for Catholics to demand that reform be scuttled?
Absolutely not and here is why. While it would be good if the Senate reconciliation language brought in Stupak, it is not absolutely necessary that it do so. Indeed, Nelson seems to think that his language does the same thing as Stupak does and without insurance exchanges, it is unclear that Stupak is still necessary. Irregardless, just like for the underlying bill, Reconciliation will not pass the House of Representatives without the Stupak language and if it cannot this language will likely survive Conference (assuming the Senate does not accept it to avoid conference). Here is the beauty of using Reconciliation. In the Senate, last I recall, there were 55 votes in favor of Stupak. For reconciliation, this is enough. If the issue is handled responsibly, the Stupak language is pretty sure to prevail.
The bottom line is, then, that the way things are going Catholics must support health care reform since abortion will be dealt with by the process - this is, of course, if you believe that the Church should have an opinion on such issues. Given the centrality of health coverage for a family in the decision to have a child or abort it (meaning that families without care are more likely to obtain abortions), passing health care reform overall is one of those seemless garment of Life issue (even if Stupak does not pass).