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Congressman Bart Stupak, Democrat, Defending the Right to Life in Heath Care

By Deacon Keith Fournier
September 17th, 2009
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Abortion is not health care. It is always and everywhere wrong to intentionally kill our innocent neighbors in the womb.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - Congressman Bart Stupak is a Democrat from the first Congressional District of Michigan. He Co-Chairs the Bi-Partisan Pro-Life Caucus with Republican Congressman Chris Smith. He is one of a strong and vocal contingent of Pro-Life Democrats who carry on the legacy of the late, great Governor of Pennsylvania Bob Casey. They hear the cry of all the poor, including children in the first home of the whole human race, their mother’s womb. They recognize the truth that these dear children whom Mother Teresa rightly called the “poorest of the poor” have no voice but ours. They are our first neighbors.

As the debate over health care reform continues in the United States , we must keep in focus our first and primary concern, to ensure that if any Health Reform legislation passes, it absolutely and explicitly forbids the expenditure of Federal funds to kill these children in the womb by funding abortions, directly or indirectly. It is people like Bart Stupak who are becoming the great champions of this fundamental human rights issue in their own Party. They may also turn out to be the key in defending against a stealth abortion mandate at the National level.

On September 16, 2009, Congressman Stupak gave an interview to Megyn Kelly of Fox news in which he strongly contended that President Obama’s assurances that funding abortion is simply not going to happen are not reliable. In fact, he said it “is just not true” and that he is “disappointed” that the President continues to make the claim.

Yet the President has sent Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius out to ride point on the issue after making just such an explicit claim in his recent address to both Houses of Congress. In an interview with the Washington Post on September 15, 2009, the Secretary could not have been clearer in underscoring the claim, responding to a direct question with this assertion: “Well, the President has made it pretty clear that Congress and the new health insurance plan will not provide federal funds for abortions”.

However, this Pro-Life Congressman, from the President’s own Party, is not buying these assurances. He is from Michigan but his behavior reminds me of the old adage "I'm from Missouri". In other words, “Show Me.” In this, he gives us all a great example of how we must respond to such assurances. Congressman Stupak is ready to act to make sure that not one Federal dollar is spent to shed the innocent blood of our youngest neighbors.

Jill Stanek, the Pro-Life Nurse hero who has been a beacon of light in the encroaching Culture of Death in our Nation, provided a snippet of this interview with the good Congressman. It reveals the strategy of the defenders of life in the Democratic Party:

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Stupak: So if we're not allowed to offer what we call the Hyde Amendment, which basically says no public funds for abortion in national healthcare... then we're going to try to... defeat the rule, and the bill cannot come to the Floor for a vote. That is our strategy. That is our plan. They're well aware of it.

Kelly: .... Do you have the votes? I mean, could you and other pro-life Democrats plus the Republicans I assume you're talking to, could you defeat the bill?

Stupak: Yes, we believe we have the votes, but we're not taking anything for granted. We speak to members every day on this issue. We have another letter circulating right now to both the president and the speaker. I know other individual pro-life members on both Democrat and Republican sides have also sent letters to the president since his speech last week saying, "Look, this bill isn't going anywhere unless we have a straight up or down vote which says no public funding for abortion in healthcare...."

Kelly: It's tough to have a debate when the people on the other side won't even acknowledge your point on the facts. I mean, Nancy Pelosi continues to say that abortion funding is already out of this bill....

Stupak: Yeah, if she really believes that, then give me my amendment. If anything my amendment would just be redundant. Just give me my amendment then. There's no fear of my amendment. Pelosi should have no fear of my amendment....”

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Jill followed the excerpt from the transcript with her own words, “Stupak is a real hero.” I concur, wholeheartedly.

As the next few weeks unfold into more heated debate we will hear and read the full array of other issues. From the threat that a centralized and federalized approach poses to the important principle of subsidiarity, to the serious moral issues surrounding the financial debt load it would entail. However, we must not lose sight of our foundational concern, protecting the dignity of every human person from conception, through life, up to and including natural death.

We must also continue to raise the defense of our first neighbors in every debate over any version of any proposed “Health Care Reform” legislation. Abortion is not health care, period. It is always and everywhere wrong to intentionally kill our innocent neighbors in the womb. There is no moral difference between legalizing the killing of one year old children and killing the child in the womb. This is not just some "religious" position , it is objective truth.

Congressman Bart Stupek and his Pro-Life Colleagues in the Democratic Party who are joining with Pro-Life Republicans in what is a genuine show of principled Bi-Partisanship are fighting for the fundamental human right to life. They deserve our prayer …and our praise.

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