Why Stupek, who won't run again, is under pro-life fire

Well, that didn't take long.

Seventy-eight percent of the voters in his northern Michigan district said they oppose public funding of abortion in health care legislation, according to polling by the Susan B. Anthony List. It didn't take long for Rep. Bart Stupek, the Democrat who engineered passage of the health car law--without the public funding provision--to feel the heat and decide not to seek re-election.
Stupek apparently detected in his electorate response to his action that they were not fooled by his end run. True, he said, the new law doesn't contain the unequivocal prohibition, but he persuaded President Barack Obama to issue an executive order saying the same thing. The executive order is fine as far as it goes, but it does not carry the force of law, and can be just as easily revoked and it was issued.
So, how can pro-life folks be so angered at someone who has been on their side for so long? Doesn't it seem a little harsh to toss out an ally for this one betrayal? To help understand, here is a statement from theSusan B. Anthony LIst, the pro-life counterpart to the pro-choice Emily's LIst:

"It is unfortunate that, after years of pro-life leadership, Rep. Stupak caved during the final hours of the healthcare debate and voted to fund abortions with taxpayer dollars," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List.  "With our latest grassroots campaign we criticized his decision to do so and announced our commitment to find a true pro-life member to represent his district.

"In the days leading up to the healthcare vote our polling in the first district of Michigan showed that seventy-eight percent of his constituents said they opposed taxpayer funding of abortion.  Votes have consequences and he 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 is suffering the consequences." 

"As a
national pro-life leader for many years, I have been proud of Bart
Stupak for
always standing on pro-life principles," said Jane Abraham, Susan B.
Anthony List General Chairman
.  "I was deeply saddened by his
recent decision to walk away from those principles and support federally
funded
abortion.  With Rep. Stupak's decision to retire I look forward to
aggressively working with a pro-life candidate in Michigan's first
district."
 
Earlier this
week the Susan B. Anthony List launched a $150,000 campaign of radio ads
and
automated phone calls in the districts of 'pro-life' Democrats,
including Rep. Stupak, who voted 'Yes' on the healthcare bill to
inform their constituents that their representatives' vote for the bill
was a vote for taxpayer funding of abortion.
 
"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," continued
Dannenfelser.  "We are pressing forward to promote true pro-life
candidates in Michigan and around the country, Democrat or Republican, who
will
put pro-life over party
."
 
The latest
grassroots campaign comes on the heels of last year's nearly $2 million
effort to keep abortion out of healthcare which included targeted
television
and radio ads, 1.3 million automated calls, 60,000 patch-through
constituent
calls, 1.2 million letters and petitions to Congress and two media tours
in
pro-life Democratic districts.
The
Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of Americans, over 280,000
residing in all 50 states, dedicated to mobilizing, advancing, and
representing
pro-life women in politics. Its connected Candidate Fund increases the
percentage of pro-life women in the political process.

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