Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) may have emerged as a pro-life hero for some, but not in my book.
Were it not for Rep. Stupak, the entire bill probably would have been defeated last fall. After his amendment prohibiting abortion funding was added to the health care bill last fall, with his support the bill passed the House 220 – 215. Had Stupak and his supporters simply voted against the bill, it almost certainly would have been defeated.
And yesterday, Rep. Stupak stood firmly against the bill—until decision time approached. Then, he started to waver. And just before the final vote was taken, he capitulated to Obama and Pelosi, in return for an executive order that supposedly will preserve the Hyde Amendment abortion funding prohibiton. After that he voted yes, and took the floor to proudly and emphatically declare that Democrats had passed this bill and Democrats had drafted this executive order.
What kind of pro-life “victory” is that? First, an executive order will say whatever President Obama wants it to say, and it will stay in effect only as long as President Obama or his successors want to keep it in effect.
Second, an executive order cannot contravene a statute passed by Congress (Could one actually serve in Congress without knowing that?). If, in fact, there is abortion-funding language in the health care bill, no executive order will change that. If the bill is silent about abortion funding, an executive order might have some effect. (Maybe someday we’ll find out what the bill really says.)
Was it really that executive order that caused Rep. Stupak to melt? Or was it another order, announced by Rep. Stupak 19 March 2010, that three northern Michigan airports would receive $726,409 in federal funds for maintenance and improvement? Or was it the 10 March 2010 announcement of a Democratic primary challenge from a pro-abortion opponent?
The Susan B. Anthony List Campaign Fund planned to honor Rep. Stupak by presenting him the Defender of Life Award. Last night they announced that they will no longer do so, because of his performance on yesterday’s bill. They made a wise decision.
Congressman Stupak’s fence-sitting and lack of fortitude have caused serious harm to the unborn child’s right to life. Maybe he is a sincere but confused congressman. But he is certainly no pro-life hero.