The Democrats have built their majority by expanding their tent; as a
result there is now a sizable group of antiabortion Democrats in
Congress. The new abortion divide—intra- along with inter-party—has
shaken the Democratic consensus on health insurance reform.
The status quo on federal abortion funding leaves a lot to be desired, and not just for abortion-rights hardliners. Current law offers antiabortion citizens the peace of knowing that while abortion may be legal, at least their taxes aren't paying for it. In exchange for these clean hands, Americans get a system in which women who rely on the federal safety net for their health coverage don't have access to abortion, while women of greater means do. The Stupak Amendment to the House's health-insurance bill would make this inequality worse.