I think that Mr. Ponnuru would respond that opposition to abortion and opposition to ACA are intertwined, and that they are one and the same.
When I asked if that was a plausible view during the first two-thirds of 2009 (the period Ponnuru was considering, and a period when the specifics of the health care bill were undetermined), Zippy responded:
I know that some folks think that any broad expansion of government power in the medical arena in our present context is pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and pro-euthanasia. This would be the case because of what government is and what health care presently is understood to be.
I'm not sold on the soundness of this view, but I suppose if Ponnuru held it and thought others should too, then he may have been thinking of ad campaigns that promoted it, and I wouldn't object to such campaigns on the basis of dishonesty.
It also occurs to me that Ponnuru may have been thinking of ad campaigns that insisted on the need for any health care bill to be robustly pro-life, which may have persuaded pro-life Democrats to insist that they would only vote for a robustly pro-life bill, which would have prevented them from voting for the ACA as it was finally presented to them. That, too, would have been an honest pro-life effort, although it doesn't seem to account for the possibility that recommitted pro-life Democrats would have produced a robustly pro-life health care bill that the Republicans would have hated. (Which brings us back to the question of doubting the possibility of a robustly pro-life health care bill.)
Let me add a response to this statement from Zippy:
I do agree that pretending to oppose abortion as a means to the end of opposing massive expansion of federal power over health care, when one in fact does not oppose abortion, is wrong; because it is a species of lie.
Yes, but I'm going further, to say that it is a species of lie to pretend that opposition to abortion entails opposing massive expansion of federal power over health care, when one in fact does not think that it does, even if one is opposed to abortion.