Leading Pro-Abortion Republican Congressman Resigns to Take Biotech Job

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 22, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Leading Pro-Abortion Republican Congressman Resigns to Take Biotech Job

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
July 22, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-abortion Republican congressman known for leading opposition to pro-life legislation is expected to resign in order to join a firm that lobbies for embryonic stem cell research.

U.S. Rep. James Greenwood (R-PA) is expected to announce Thursday that he will step down from his seat which he has held for the past six terms, to take a position at the head of a biotech industry lobbing organization.

Pro-life leaders are not surprised by Greenwood’s choice of a new career.

"In the U.S. House, Greenwood led the fights against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the bill to ban human cloning, and he is the co-chair of the organized pro-abortion caucus," Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee told LifeNews.com.

"If the Biotechnology Industry Organization picks him as its president, that will say a lot about the priorities of the leadership of that organization," Johnson added.

According to the Associated Press, the lobbyist job offer came from the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a Washington-based association representing hundreds of biotechnology companies, including those that are pushing for approval of embryonic stem cell research.

While the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which Greenwood leads, received national attention for unearthing the insider-trading allegations involving Martha Stewart, pro-life organizations have considered him notorious for his strong pro-abortion stance.

Greenwood has been criticized for trying to add an exception for the mother’s health to the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. Such health exceptions are considered a legalistic loophole by pro-life groups, who say such an exception could be used by abortion practitioners to justify virtually all abortions.

A number of leading physicians’ groups have said that partial-birth abortion is never necessary to safeguard a woman’s health.

Following the FDA’s decision not to approve the morning after pill, called Plan B by the manufacturer, Greenwood met with Steven Galson, acting director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and said he is "very confident" that the FDA will reverse its decision later this year.

Prior to the meeting, Greenwood called the decision "horrible" and told The Hill newspaper that he was going to meet with Galson with the intention of "reading him the riot act."

Greenwood stated publicly in June that he respects diverse religious views on abortion "up to the moment they try to put their faith into laws," during an address to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.