'Rachel Maddow Show': Stupak Abortion Stance '15 Minutes of Fame'

What's a principled stance on the life of an unborn fetus if it means achieving the be-all and end-all victory for liberal ideologues – a government intrusion into health care? According to The Nation's Chris Hayes, it's just “one giant obstacle.”

Hayes, filling in for Rachel Maddow on MSNBC's March 9 broadcast of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” didn't seem impressed with Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Stupak, who has a documented history of having a pro-life position on abortion long before so-called health care reform was even a possibility, has been taking heat from left-wingers in this political battle. But according to MSNBC, it's just his “15 minutes of fame.”

“If health reform is finally going to happen this year, Democrats have one giant obstacle standing in their way, his name is Bart Stupak,” Hayes said. “Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak from Michigan has threatened for the last week to pretty much anyone who will listen, to bring down the health reform bill if the anti-abortion language he prefers is not in it. And Bart Stupak says he's not just speaking for Bart Stupak. He is speaking for the Stupak dozen.”

At issue is whether or not Stupak can push through language into a House health care reform bill similar to that in an amendment that passed back in November in the House's first go-around that won the vital support of pro-life Democrats and even one Republican. Stupak vowed that necessary support would not be there this time to MSNBC's “Hardball” back on March 3.

”There are at least 12 of us who voted for health care who have indicated to the leadership and others, and unless you fix this abortion language, we can't vote for a final version of the bill.”

This impediment apparently has some on the left frustrated because it would violate a key constituency's stance. The pro-abortion movement that has some strong Democratic allies in the U.S. House and opposes restrictions on abortion, at least as it pertains to federal funding. Determining precisely what Stupak insists upon had Hayes perplexed.

”As Democrats in the House scramble to find every last vote they can to pass health reform, a 12-vote block committed to voting no just might be the single biggest obstacle they face,” Hayes said. “And so Democrats have apparently started negotiating with Congressman Stupak who told reporters yesterday, quote, 'I'm more optimistic than I was a week ago … I think we can get there.' So where exactly is there?”

Stupak has maintained his intentions are not to expand or restrict current law on abortion despite receiving strong opposition from those in Congress who maintain any language on this issue would be a setback.

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