In the final hours of the health care debate, Americans across the country were deeply saddened when Rep. Stupak (D-Mich.) and a handful of “pro-life” Democrats buckled under White House pressure and voted for legislation that will lead to the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.
Their cover was a fig leaf -- an Executive Order signed by President Obama that addresses none of the authentic pro-life concerns of the American people. Rather than stand up for the pro-Life American majority Stupak and his gang caved.
Before his fateful vote, Rep. Stupak had been a national pro-Life leader who championed the unborn and their mothers. The Susan B. Anthony List had even planned to honor him with our Defender of Life award. The decision to leave office makes it clear that, finally, Stupak understands: Votes have consequences.
In the days leading up to the health care vote our polling in the first district of Michigan showed that 78 percent of Stupak’s constituents said they opposed taxpayer funding of abortion. Stupak understands now what the polling revealed: a vote for that bill was a vote against the will of his constituents. Yet he chose to do it and now he is suffering the consequences.
Earlier this week the Susan B. Anthony List launched a grassroots campaign of radio and automated phone calls in the districts of “pro-life” Democrats, including Rep. Stupak, who voted ‘”Yes” on the health care bill to inform their constituents that their representatives’ vote for the bill was a vote for taxpayer funding of abortion.
Stupak chose party over his own principles when he cut that meaningless deal with the most pro-abortion president in American history—and for what? Stupak not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but failed his constituents and pro-Life voters across the country. He was put to the test, but found wanting.
The good news is Rep. Stupak’s retirement now opens up the opportunity for the pro-life majority in his district to elect someone who will stand firm for Life and uphold the principles the voters elected them to uphold. Pro-Life voters in the first district of Michigan and across the country deserve a member, Democrat or Republican, who will put pro-Life over party.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a nationwide network of over pro-life Americans dedicated to advancing, mobilizing and representing pro-life women in the political process.
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