Reverend Jim Wallis, one of President Obama’s top religious advisors and a member of his Faith Council tells The Brody File that if covering abortions is part of any government healthcare plan then President Obama’s big plans for healthcare will be dead in the water.
In a one on one interview, Jim Wallis, the president of Sojourners tells me the following:
“Making abortion provisions part of healthcare reform will kill healthcare reform.”…There are a number of people who believe this is an issue of deep moral conviction and conscience and there are firewalls that if they are breached will really destroy common ground.”
Reverend Wallis is considered progressive on many social issues including poverty reform which has been a driving force in his life. But on the abortion issue he is pro-life and when I asked him where he stands on abortion coverage as part of healthcare reform he told me, “I’m against it”
You can watch the video clip above to see the clip of Wallis. It runs about 1:30.
Last week I interviewed White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes about this issue. You can watch her response here or read it below:
Melody Barnes: “We haven’t proposed a specifics benefits package or a particular healthcare proposal so we’re going to be engaging with Congress to have this conversation.”
Brody: So it hasn’t been decided yet at this point?
Barnes: We haven’t had that conversation yet."
President Obama has spoken about the need to reduce abortions in America and Jim Wallis has been and will be a key player in this area. He has the President’s ear on this issue and will be responsible (along with other faith leaders) in developing ideas for an abortion reduction initiative. Jim Wallis is simply speaking in realistic terms. He's a guy who understands the complexities of the abortion issue and how this could implode on The White House. The Obama administration has a decision and a calculation to make. Will aboriton coverage in healthcare be one of those "non-negotiables" as part of the healthcare reform efforts? If it looks like it will sink it, what will they do?