Pro-Life Republicans

pro-life gopLast night all but one, who voted present, of the House Republicans voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment in spite of knowing that its passage made likely the final passage of ObamaCare.  Here is a statement of the House Republican Leadership issued last night before either the Stupak amendment or ObamaCare was passed:

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) issued the following statement in support of an amendment offered by Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) that would prohibit federal funding of abortions under the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) health care plan: “We believe in the sanctity of life, and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment addresses a moral issue of the utmost concern. It will limit abortion in the United States. Because of this, while we strongly and deeply oppose the underlying bill, we decided to stand with Life and support Stupak-Pitts.

“The danger of this bill passing without critical pro-life language was too great a risk to do otherwise. Indeed, a number of Democrat supporters of Stupak-Pitts had privately indicated to many of our colleagues that all they needed for “cover” was a vote, and they would support final passage even if the amendment failed.

“To be clear, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment’s passage is the right thing to do. We believe you just don’t play politics with life.

“When this bill is conferenced with the Senate, the pro-life majority in the House of Representatives must ensure that this important amendment is in the final legislation. If it does not, this same strong majority must defeat the bill.

Elected Republicans often receive little credit in Saint Blogs for the stalwart opposition to abortion that most of them have shown.  Last night the GOP deliberately passed up the best opportunity to stop ObamaCare in the House in order to vote to make sure that no federal funding for abortion would be in ObamaCare.  They deserve immense credit for this, which I am certain they will not receive.

43 Responses to Pro-Life Republicans

  • American Knight says:

    It is an easy decision when you are genuinely pro-life; however, political pragmatism would be very tempting in this situation. It must have been difficult to know that you are voting to create the climate that will pass the Obamanation assault on health care.

    Nevertheless, we may credit them with taking the correct moral stance and pray for the Senate to kill the bill.

    What the heck is with Cao? Is he another Dede?

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head and that he voted for ObamaCare simply because he thought it was the right thing to do, especially since he probably assumes he isn’t coming back to Congress no matter what he does. He was elected from an intensely Democrat district in New Orleans simply because his opponent is a crook and it would take a major political miracle for him to win re-election.

  • American Knight says:

    I have been struggling with this all night. Keep in mind I am no a Republican and I think over the years they have done much damage to the cause of liberty. I also find many to pander to religion and actually employ political pragmatism.

    Part of me wants to be mad at them for giving the Demoncrats cover to pass this monstrosity. Stupak will likely be removed or the rules developed in darkness, behind closed doors by unelected officials will create a work around to kill babies. Nevertheless, we are to always pray, “Fiat voluntus tua” – Thy Will be done. We have to trust God and even if some Republicans voted for this ammendment knowing that it would allow the assualt on health care to pass and perhaps just to fool us into voting for them in 2010 – it is still a principled victory.

    Life is the most precious gift and all other rights, both human and civil are derived from the right to life. The defense of life has been marginalized so much, even by Christians, perhaps especially by Catholics. I am so sick of being called a one-issue voter – I am not, neither are most pro-lifers I know. It is the primary issue and that cannot be avoided no matter how severe the mental gymnastics employed may be. So long as killing the innocent is legal and even encouraged this country is heading toward extinction.

    This is a principled victory and we must give thanks even if we are tempted, as I am, to see it as hollow becuase God’s ways are not our ways.

    Mary, Mother of Life, ora pro nobis.

  • Steve says:

    “Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head…”

    If he were “absolutely” pro-life, wouldn’t the rationing, contraception, and other nasty provisions come into play for him? Evidently not.

    Also, I’d be more likely to believe no political calculations entered his head if he didn’t wait until the Dems secured the necessary number of votes to win before he voted.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Here is what Cao says about this on his webite.

    “Tonight, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-2) voted in favor of the comprehensive health reform bill, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

    Of his vote, Cao said: “Tonight, I voted to keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortion and to deliver access to affordable health care to the people of Louisiana.

    Cao said: “I read the versions of the House [health reform] bill. I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health care costs are exploding – if they are able to obtain health care at all. Louisianans needs real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children.

    The bill passed the House at a 220-215 vote.

    Cao said: “Today, I obtained a commitment from President Obama that he and I will work together to address the critical health care issues of Louisiana including the FMAP crisis and community disaster loan forgiveness, as well as issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals. And, I call on my constituents to support me as I work with him on these issues.

    Cao said: “I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents.”

    http://josephcao.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=154007

    Needless to say I disagree with Cao profoundly on this, but I do not doubt his sincerity.

  • Karl says:

    Seems to me this is just a brief side trip along the road of the decline of western civilization.

    Reelection is usually what matters most to folks, if it means maintaining power, influence and a “comfortable” standard of living. I am grateful not to be a politician.

    Nothing surprises me. I have come to “lean on” no institutions and very, very few people. We are each capable of the worst choices and these days those choices are made with ever increasing frequency, I regret to observe.

    We pay “lip service” to moral absolutes, finding all manner of “justifications and rationalizations” to find cover for our decisions which are made in support of the “Culture of Death”, although we try to wash our hands of these as did Pilate when he handed Jesus over to pay for OUR SINS, FOLKS.

    MINE AND YOURS.

    Some things never change.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    “It was also the political expedient thing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had they voted against the Stupak Amendment?”

    The politics aren’t that simple restrainedradical. A strong majority of Republicans oppose abortion. Almost all Republicans oppose ObamaCare. I am seeing plenty of opposition on Republican sites to this move:

    “As I responded to Daybrook, I appreciate the answer but this is horrible strategy. The NRLC should have been adults about this. They are going to save this amendment and ensure final passage. Then it’s going to get struck in conference and a chance to kill this will have been lost.

    Right now it’s passing with 63 Dem votes and 170+ Republican votes.

    The GOP leadership got rolled on this by Pelosi.”

    http://ace.mu.nu/

    Long term I think this will work out well for the Republicans, but short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Donald,
    You are not thinking clearly. Of course it was the politically expedient thing to do. The logic is impeccable: Republicans are not really pro-life and will do whatever is politically expedient; Republicans voted in favor of this pro-life measure; ergo, the vote must have been politically expedient. Hope that’s clear now.

  • “short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.”

    I don’t think so. Voting against the bill gave them the cover they need. There may be some opposition, but I think the vast majority of their constituents will support this move. It’s a win-win for both sides. The Democrats get to vote pro-choice and for universal health care and the Republicans get to vote pro-life and against socialized medicine.

  • I see that some people in this thread are more partisan Republicans than Catholics. I’ve met Joseph Cao. My wife has been to numerous fundraisers for Joseph Cao. Joseph Cao is a highly honorable man, a true Catholic public figure. He promised that he would support healthcare reform if the Stupak amendment was included, simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. Joseph Cao is a hero. If only a few Republicans would follow him.

    And to Donald – yes, I very much appreciate GOP support for the Stupak amendment. The cynic in me would say they were caught between a rock and a hard place, and could not be seen publicly opposing a pro-life measure on tardy political grounds. But let’s give them some credit. And now that we have a decent bill with ironclad abortion protection, I would like to see some Republicans start supporting this bill – just a few Catholic Republicans would make a difference here. So where were they last night? Are they willing to support a pro-life universal health insurance plan that actually reduces the deficit, or are they instead enslaved to a rigid free market ideology and to insurance company money?

    I don’t know what is going to happen in conference. But with enough GOP support, we can get this bill passed withe the Stupak amendment.

  • Somebody mentioned “socialized medicine”. Sigh. This reform twins an individial mandate with community rating-style restrictions on what insurance companies can do (you know, refusing coverage, dropping people, charging exhorbitant premia based on “pre-existing condition”). For everybody in empoloyer-insurance, hardly anything changes. For those in medicare and medicaid, hardly anything changes. For those in the individual markets, they will purchase insurance on a regulated exchange, which will include a public option that will be wholly funded by premia and which cannot use medicare reimbursement rates. And those below a certain threshold will receive subsidies to help they purchase the insurance.

    How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    We agree that Cao is an honorable man Tony. As for the bill I think it is atrocious and I pray it is buried in the Senate, although from my partisan perspective it would be better if it passed since I believe that it would ensure the GOP taking the House back in 2010. At any rate if a bill does get out of the Senate it will bear as much relationship to the House bill as a bat does to a spider.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Please Tony. Your whole goal has been a single payer, socialized medicine, system. The intent of this bill is to drive private insurers out of business and to force people to become health wards of the state ultimately. Fortunately this bill has as much chance of ever becoming law as Madonna, the strumpet and not the Mother of God, does of becoming a spokeswoman for the Eagle Forum.

  • American Knight says:

    We have to be careful not to confuse Catholic intentions (ends) with practical methods (means). Yes, it is true that we, as Catholics, are to provide for all those in need and that includes health care; however, the Church does not demand that we use the government for that purpose. Does government have a role? Yes. Not always at the federal level. In fact as seldom as possible should the federal government be employed.

    Furthermore, Charity is what we as individuals are called to do, when government forces one of us to provide for another then it is theft and not charity.

    This bill is a disaster. Anyone who supports it has either not read it, doesn’t understand it, has no concpet of basic enconomics, is extremely naive, or has sinister intentions to make us all slaves of the state.

    I haven’t read this entire thing, it is over 2,000 pages!!!! The parts I have read are frigtening. We will be left with one, two or three enormous insurance companies with their market secured by government force. I doubt we will get to government provided health care. What we will probably get is government protection for a few insurance companies at the expense of all the other insurance companies and the people.

    Even if the Stupak ammendment makes it into the spider or the bat version that Donald is referring to, that does not guarantee that abortions will not be increased under this mess. Bills become laws and laws become regulations. Regs are not written by elected reps, they are determined by government agencies behind closed doors and always further the expansion of government and aid the corporate interests that fabricated the legislation in the first place.

    The murder of the per-born, the elderly, the disabled, you know the same old targets Eugenecists have always had is firmly set in the minds of many of those in power and any and all means to achieve this will be utilized. Those on the Left and the Right, the Libertarians (of all stripes), the Republicans and the Democrats all need to realize this NOW. If we play ‘wait and see’ it will be too late to stop it. We’ve been killing babies for almost four decades and this is going to be just another step toward more death and the destruction of what this nation can be.

    Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.

    I am confident that this will die in the Senate; however, these are dark times and anything is possible. Pray.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Suz,

    I’m with you.

    This’ll disappear in committee *IF* the Senate passes the health care bill.

    But in the end this violates the rule of subsidiarity.

    Technically speaking, why bother giving money to Catholic hospitals, or any other Catholic Charity, if the government is going to provide it to you at the expense of your children having to pay off this monstrosity of a debt in the very near future.

  • jonathanjones02 says:

    How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

    1). As someone that follows politics, one should be able to safely assume you are aware that Republicans have offered, in recent years, several reform proposals. Agree or disagree, there is substantive opposition. And slogans are necessarily a part of all debates.

    2). The label “socialize,” and the ensuing slogans, are correct. This House proposal is a large-scale federal government intrusion and cash influx (which is sickening for those of those of us that can’t stand the quite brazen A. Stern and SEIU). In this context, “nationalize” is an incomplete but usable description. And to “nationalize” is to “socialize.” These two words, in the political context of advanced liberal democracies, are synonyms. (In fact, feel free to go right ahead and make a case for any one time in 20th Century American history where this was not the case – I’ve had people try and it’s pretty difficult.) This is why I have for some time now found the supposedly “Catholic anarchist” arguments for this particular brand of reform to be quite strange.

    3). As an advocate for health care reform, I applaud the efforts of Rep. Stupak and also hope the Democratic efforts, for far too long the pawn of public sector unions, trial lawyers, and the abortion lobby, go down in flames. Any reform efforts need, at minimum, three things: a). strong protections for the unborn b). a serious appraisal of the demographic impact of baby boomer entitlements, senior care – including discussion of some manner of what could be termed ‘rationing,’ and illegal immigration (I favor a halt on all immigration, especially with double digit unemployment and until such time as the number comes much close to 3 or 4 percent – the wage destruction of the past few decades has been terrible) c). measures that make trial lawyers furious.

    All Catholics must agree on the first point. The Senate Democrats and the president are horrible on that score, especially compared to the always running for re-election House, but let us hope for a surprise.

  • jh says:

    Cao is a good guy. Part of the problem here is the LSU Charity hospital that was destroyed by Katrina and still has not been rebuilt.

    It was pretty clear to a lot of us on Obama’s visit to New Orelans and his elusive answers on Federal finds for this that he sending a message to CAO. I think CAO doid what he had to do

  • Dymphna says:

    This is NO victory. This is a political public stunt, & abortion was used as a red herring.

    This is the Stupak Amendment:

    Page 154, after line 18, insert the following new section (and conform the table of contents of
    Division A accordingly):

    SEC 265. LIMITATIONS ON ABORTION FUNDING.

    (a) IN GENERAL.–No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act

    (or any amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion

    or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage

    of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder,

    physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician,

    place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including

    a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy

    itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest.

    The last clause: “unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest,” places in law a class of human beings that has no protection of life and is jeopardy of loss of life through no fault or responsible action of their own: those who have been conceived by the sins of rape or incest and have not yet been born. This is NOT a pro-life amendment.

    I got this from a friend in regards to the Rep who voted present:

    “Well, Shadegg had a plan to throw sand in the gears and likely ruin the political machinery grinding out a victory for the government takeover of health care. He was rounding up the votes to kill the pro- life amendment (by voting “present”) and thereby killing the whole bill and quite possibly the entire effort. This would have caused such a train wreck, it is doubtful the liberals could have
    recovered, i.e., Waterloo.”

    http://prop207az.blogspot.com/2009/11/with-friends-like-right-to-life-who.html

    I wonder if Rep Shadegg’s-(AZ) strategy actually would have killed the bill?

    Because of the USCCB encouraging lay faithful to call their Rep to add the Stupak (anti-life) amendment to the bogus health “care” bill, we could possibly have a socialistic country. Thanks USCCB! Next time you want to do something dramatic, have the pastors read & stuff the bulletins with
    Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html

    Faithful Catholics NEVER have & NEVER will support socialism!!!

  • Faithful Catholics will never support socialism? Indeed, if you define socialism correctly and not as a mere slogan. But remember, Catholic social teaching tells us that faithful Catholics should also eschew the ideology of free market liberalism. Pius XI referred to both as the “twin rocks of shipwreck” – extreme individualism and extreme collectivism.

  • “Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.”

    China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?

  • Dymphna says:

    Pope Pius XI:
    “No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist”

    Every Pope, beginning w/ Leo XIII to our current Pope Benedict, condemns socialism. The main underlining reason is that socialism ultimately denies the central truth of Christianity, that man needs GOD.

    The bill does not deal only w/ “health care.” There are other issues in the bill such as, the bill will create a government home visitation program, with federally funded bureaucrats giving out parenting advice, and nothing in the bill makes it clear that these programs must be voluntary.

    I take it you support the bill, because my previous post started w/ the wording on the Stupak amendment, showing how it is NOT pro-life & as well, to Shadegg’s plan. “But remember” the Catholic Church is pro-life. However, you don’t discuss these items, instead you zero in on socialism, because in your mind you think the USCCB was right. Well, they weren’t & now they are regretting their decision. They DON’T approve of the bill.

    Get it in your head – Americans want health care REFORM – not govt. take over.

  • Dale Price says:

    The Stupak Amendment–if it stays in after the Conference sausage making (and I think it will, all things considered)–certainly removes the deal killer aspect of the House plan for me. And the Amendment also greatly diminishes the problems with the conscience clauses, which were pretty iffy beforehand.

    As much as it may grate folks here, MM is unimpeachably correct–health care is a right. In the absence of any other moral objections, it isn’t a bad day for Catholics. Far from it.

    Now the kicker is to see what the Senate does, and to make sure the Amendment stays in.

  • Dale Price says:

    If it stays in, they instantly lose the Court challenge on stare decisis. Hyde survived the Supreme Court.

    A “ruse”? Maybe that’s what the pro-aborts were hoping, but I don’t think that’s fair to the overwhelming majority who voted for Stupak.

  • American Knight says:

    rradical: “China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?”

    Sure, UK, China, whatever. It is just the difference between socialism and communism. A little bit less of a bad thing doesn’t make it good.

    Control health care (HR 3962), life (Roe v. Wade), food (FDA), money (the Fed) and energy (Cap and Tax) and you have slaves not citizens.

  • American Knight says:

    Just becuase health care is a right doesn’t mean the government has to directly provide it. Our rights come from God and are secured by government. Government can secure the right to health care by allowing a market of businesses to provide medical services and insurance services as well as allowing overall wealth to increase by not confiscating it so that we can take care of the indigent with Charity instead of theft.

    Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly. Health care includes food, water, exercise, medical treatment, shelter, clothing and love – should the government provide all that as well?

  • Dale Price says:

    “Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly.”

    Because an uninsured friend of mine died at age 33 because of cancer that wasn’t diagnosed in time. Because there are plenty of folks “enjoying” long stints of unemployment here in Michigan who can’t afford COBRA. Which runs out in 18 months anyway.

    Actually, I don’t want the government to *directly provide* free coverage for everyone. I just want it to make sure that coverage is *available* for everyone. I’m all ears as to viable alternatives, which haven’t been proffered.

    I am also cognizant of the problems with the Pelosi bill apart from abortion, specifically the costs and regulatory problems which will likely result.

    However, at least it does provide coverage for those who need it. Which, alas, the Republican plan didn’t, despite the fact it contained some long-overdue reforms.

  • Dale Price says:

    BA:

    Yes, and I recall reading somewhere that overall cancer treatment in the US is the best in the world, by a wide margin. God knows I don’t want to see that lost with any reform.

  • Some cancers yes, some no. I seem to recall the evidence is mixed. But in general, there is nothing wrong with the quality of US healthcare. It’s just that a lot of people can’t get it, and it’s incredibly expensive.

  • MM,

    I think you’re missing BA’s point, which is that the facts suggest that even given the fact that number of people in the US do not have health insurance, people _still_ overall get cancer screenings more and survive cancer longer.

    Frankly, I think in this case it’s probably a wash since the pending legislation will probably only increase the number of insured nominally — you aren’t simply “given” health care, you need to pay for insurance, and paying a fine for not having insurance is cheaper than paying for insurance (even after subsidies), so those who can’t afford insurance now mostly still won’t have insurance. The main people helped by this will be people with lots of money who nonetheless don’t have employer insurance and can’t get individual insurance because of some pre-existing condition.

  • S.B. says:

    MM — since you’re here, you might want to correct your constant misinformation and lies about how often private insurance covers abortion. A quote from yesterday’s NY Times: “A 2003 study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that 13 percent of abortions were billed directly to insurance companies.” Note, that’s billed, not paid.

    This refutes your dishonest attempts to claim that “most” people are contributing to private insurance policies that pay for abortion.

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