Rachel Maddow was on Meet The Press today talking about the healthcare bill that the House recently passed. Maddow said that language restricting access to abortion in the bill is a poison pill for liberals and progressives that could end up costing Democratic candidates votes with pro-choice women. Maddow called it the biggest restriction on abortion in a generation.
Here is the video:
While speaking about the healthcare debate in the Senate, Maddow said, “I think that the, the, the big, the big issue obviously is that the House got it done, in the big–in the broadest possible terms. I do think that going ahead, looking toward the Senate, there is a bit of a poison pill in there for progressives and liberals, especially if they’re counting on there being a big electoral boon to Democrats…”
She continued, “It’s, it’s the biggest restriction on abortion funding since the Hyde Amendment. It’s the biggest restriction on abortion access in this country in, in, in a generation. And if, if it took a Democratic president, 60 percent majorities in the House and Senate of Democrats in order to get that, I think you can expect Democratic women to sit on their hands at least if not revolt if that doesn’t get taken out in conference.”
I do believe that this is a trade off that pro-choice men and women have to weigh. The question is do pro-choice Democrats compromise by allowing the restriction on access to abortions stay in, or do they fight for their values and possibly derail healthcare reform? My gut tells me that the backlash from the pro-choice element of the Democratic Party won’t be as severe as Maddow seems to think.
I think that if the abortion related language is stripped out, Democrats could lose some conservative Senate Democratic votes. The abortion issue is a hot button topic that could sink this bill, and there is no way that the Democratic leadership is going to let that happen. My guess is that the Hyde language on abortion stays in the final bill.