Sadly, the U.S. Senate lost its last-standing pro-life Democrat today when Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia betrayed his long-held pro-life convictions to vote against the repeal of the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law.
Manchin will join the company of Democrats like Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, stalwart supporters of the right to life throughout much of their careers who also recently bowed to party pressure and sold out the pro-life advocates who put them in office. (Incidentally, the group Democrats for Life of America opposed repeal while every other pro-life group favored it).
As governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin never wavered in affirming the rights of unborn children and their mothers. Just last May, Manchin signed into law a bill that provides West Virginian mothers the option to view an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion.
Manchin’s vote today not to repeal Obamacare, which mandates taxpayer funding of abortion and poses grave threats of rationing, may actually signal the end of his political career. Obamacare is incredibly unpopular in West Virginia. In 2010, West Virginian Democrats ousted Rep. Alan Mollohan (D) in the Democratic primary for his vote for the pro-abortion healthcare law. Mollohan had served 14 terms in the US House of Representatives.
Barely edging out a victory over pro-life Republican John Raese in the 2010 special election for his Senate seat, Manchin will be vulnerable in 2012 when he has to run for reelection. If Manchin had bucked his party and stood by his pro-life convictions, he would be looking at a much smoother ride back to the Senate. But as a result of this vote, Manchin just became one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats and a primary focus of pro-life advocates in West Virginia going into the 2012 election cycle.