Posts Tagged ‘pro-life democrats’

Outrage: ‘Pro-Life’ Old Guard Attempts to Strangle the Pro-Life Democrat Movement in its Crib

April 22, 2010

Yesterday I blogged about the entrenched, old-guard pro-choice interests freaking out about the new magenta movement which combines abortion with other social justice issues, but today I read that the same thing is happening with old-guard pro-lifers.  Groups claiming to be ‘pro-life’ are now showing their true colors:

Anti-abortion groups are poised to launch a multimillion-dollar offensive against a collection of former allies — House Democrats who also oppose abortion — in an effort to discredit their credibility with anti-abortion voters and oust them from office.

Four separate campaigns are in the works, aimed at anti-abortion House Democrats who voted for the health care bill and designed around the notion that those Democrats signed on to legislation that lacked restrictions ensuring that federal funds would not be spent to provide coverage for abortions.

Some of the targeted members — largely, though not exclusively, vulnerable and junior Democrats — voted for the bill after Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) cut a deal with the White House that President Barack Obama would sign an executive order ensuring that the bill would not provide such funding.

This week, the Family Research Council Action political action committee announced that it would spend $500,000 targeting 20 House Democrats — many of them freshmen from districts with a high concentration of voters who oppose abortion.

This despite the the fact that:

Some in the anti-abortion movement conceded that attacking their longtime Democratic collaborators — who have a small but influential role within the House majority — hasn’t been easy.

McClusky, for his part, acknowledged that in taking on Mollohan, a longtime ally who holds a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, the anti-abortion movement risked alienating a friend.

“The last thing we want to do is take out an Appropriations Committee member who was on our side,” said McClusky. “And the last thing we want to do is to take out a Democrat on our side.”

Ya think?

That they still see some kind of essential link between their movement and that of the Republican party not only reveals where the old-guard pro-lifers get butter for their bread, but it also where their true loyalties lie.  Rather than being authentically pro-life, they are more fundamentally socially conservative.  And their idolatry with regard to outdated political categories means that abortion will continue to exploit the most vulnerable persons in our society: our prenatal children and their mothers.  And especially the poor.

Simply an outrage.

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Pro-Life Hero Bart Stupak to Forego a 10th Term

April 9, 2010

Democrat, and pro-life warrior, Bart Stupak has finally had enough.  Because his pro-life views led him to push for dramatic new restrictions on abortion funding (and dramatically more support for pregnant women), along with getting 31 million vulnerable people health insurance, he was facing both a primary challenge from the ‘liberal’ side and tea party fire from the ‘conservative’ side.  All of this has caused him to do something he had been contemplating for awhile: retire.

The full effect the pro-life assault he led from the heart of the democratic party–connecting the issues of respect for the dignity of the vulnerable human fetus with respect for those vulnerable persons without health care–will take generations to measure.   It goes far beyond the substantial legislative victories he helped win; he almost single-handedly put a magenta consistent-ethic-of-life argument out there in the mainstream media for all to see.  He forced millions to confront the intellectual incoherency of a position which picks and chooses which vulnerable populations deserve government protection.  The movement he created will force millions more to do the same.

God bless you Bart.  You’ve earned your rest.

And So it Begins: Secular Media Picks Up on the Pro-Life Democrat Movement

March 24, 2010

Finally, the secular media is starting to take notice:

he Democrat who helped House leaders secure the last few votes needed to pass landmark health care legislation might not have been treated so solicitously at the party’s convention the year he was elected to Congress.

In 1992, when Bart Stupak was running for his first term in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey Sr. was denied a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in New York. Casey was the namesake for a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld a state’s right to restrict abortions. He accused the Clinton-Gore campaign of excluding him because of his staunchly anti-abortion views.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey Sr. was denied a speaking slot at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York. He said he was excluded because of his anti-abortion views.

Two years later, Democrats lost control of the House after 40 years in power.

On Sunday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, an abortion-rights supporter, signed a last-minute deal with Stupak and other anti-abortion-rights Democrats to push the bill past the goal line. It came after pro-choice President Barack Obama agreed to issue an executive order declaring that restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion will remain unchanged.

Public opinion among Democrats remains strongly in favor of abortion rights. Yet a solid, and consistent, third of self-described Democrats say they oppose abortion on demand.

A third!  Clearly, the times they-are-a-changin’:

There was no clearer signal of changing times than the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, where Casey’s son, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr., was given a prominent speaking slot. He acknowledged disagreeing with Obama on abortion but lauded the presidential candidate’s “respect” for those who opposed abortion on moral grounds.

Casey and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, another anti-abortion Democrat, helped draft the abortion language in the Senate bill. Stupak dismissed that as weaker than his own “Stupak amendment” and tried to rework the Senate bill to fit the House version.

That angered abortion-rights Democrats, prompting threats to withhold their votes if Stupak got his way.

“We’re not happy with the Nelson language. We’re not happy that this president has done an executive order,” Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a leader of the abortion-rights caucus, told AOL News. “But we understand what it was going to take in order to pass this bill.”

But it wasn’t just the extremists on the left that weren’t happy with the pro-life dems:

Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer called out “baby killer” on the House floor during Stupak’s speech. Neugebauer later apologized, but anti-abortion groups were livid. One rescinded an award to Stupak. Others vowed to punish him and his allies in November as part of a wider effort to repeal the whole health plan.

“He made a very deliberate decision to sell out the pro-life movement,” said Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life. “It was a betrayal of historic proportions.”

Angering both the left and the right may be a good thing for Democrats.

Bingo.

Abortion and Health Care Reform: What’s Past is Prologue

March 4, 2010

If it feels like we’ve been here before, its because we have:

A dozen House of Representatives Democrats opposed to abortion are willing to kill President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan unless it satisfies their demand for language barring the procedure, Representative Bart Stupak said on Thursday.

“Yes. We’re prepared to take responsibility,” Stupak said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when asked if he and his 11 Democratic allies were willing to accept the consequences for bringing down healthcare reform over abortion.

“Let’s face it. I want to see healthcare. But we’re not going to bypass the principles of belief that we feel strongly about,” he said.

We’ve been back and forth on the arguments surrounding this complicated set of issues pretty thoroughly on this blog, but let’s just pause for a minute to think again about how extraordinary this situation is.  Pro-Life democrats now hold the power to derail health care reform in their hands and, apparently, are willing to stick to their principles.  The broader democratic party–and the Obama administration–have a question to answer: are they going to let health care die in order to pacify members of their party who not only want to see abortion as a privacy right, but as something that can be covered in a federally managed and subsidized insurance exchange?

The decision they reach will impact not only health care reform (a monstrous issue in itself), but also the very identity of their party.  Will they retreat toward being the party of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, or will they continue to move in the direction of Bob Casey and Bart Stupak?   That is, in the direction of those that want to protect both the very young and those without health insurance?

That is, in the direction of a consistent ethic of life.