I knew Saturday was a disaster for the country due to the deficit busting behemoth bureaucracies in the healthcare bill that passed. But it’s possible that a greater disaster occurred that has gone largely unremarked on.

At the time of the vote I, along with many others, was unaware that the Stupak Amendment allowed for funding abortion in cases of rape and incest.

A commenter named Rachel informed me of that in the combox yesterday and I was stunned. I read the amendment and was horrified to see she was right. It seems the U.S. bishops just endorsed an amendment that provided for taxpayer funding of abortion in cases of rape or incest.

Says The Hill:

The USCCB announced its position in a letter to lawmakers, arguing that Stupak’s amendment was consistent with the Hyde Amendment, a long standing policy that prevents federal dollars from going to elective abortions.

“[W]e strongly urge you to vote for the [Stupak proposal] and to support a fair process in the House of Representatives to consider this essential improvement in health care reform legislation,” the letter reads.

Doesn’t this makes it a little more difficult for the bishops to argue that all life is sacred. The bishops have attempted adding a caveat to an eternal truth.

Should we, as Catholics, start saying that all life is sacred except in cases of rape or incest? Jesus didn’t say “Suffer the little children to come unto me…except in cases of rape or incest.” So neither should the bishops.

Pewsitter linked to a piece where Judy Brown of The American Life League called the Stupak Amendment a “terrible defeat” for the pro-life community.

I absolutely agree with her.

Some might argue that the Stupak amendment was a vast improvement to the existing healthcare bill, which it assuredly was, but the bishops should be concerned with right and wrong, not political compromises between the right and the left.

As impressed as I am with Stupak for standing up to his own party and improving the healthcare bill, I’m hugely disappointed in the bishops for signing off on this.

I’m hoping that the bishops endorsed through ignorance rather than political expediency. To think otherwise is just too horrifying. I can’t think that the bishops would’ve endorsed a law to support taxpayer funding of abortion if it were not connected to the healthcare bill. So, in the end, did the bishops decide that a healthcare bill was too important to quibble over a minor number of abortions? Were they caught in the legislative rush?

For days it’s been reported that the bishops bullied the Democratic leadership into accepting the Stupak amendment. But it seems more likely that the bishops themselves were bullied into endorsing something they never should have.

The bishops approving funding abortions in case of rape or incest is awful by itself, never mind that cases of claimed rape will assuredly skyrocket in America if the Stupak amendment even survives the Senate.

Tell me I’m wrong about what I’m saying. I want to be.

Update: Laura Ingraham and Raymond Arroyo discuss the bishop’s endorsement of Stupak and the healthcare bill. Listen at Catholic Fire.