Pro-Abortion Health Secretary Nominee Tom Daschle Withdraws Nomination
by Steven Ertelt
February 3, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Tom Daschle, the pro-abortion former senator who has come under heavy criticism for failing to properly pay federal taxes, has withdrawn his nomination. President Barack Obama upset pro-life advocates with the pick because Daschle had a long pro-abortion voting record in Congress.
Daschle withdrew his name from consideration, citing the distraction posed by the scandal, one of the latest to rock the new Obama administration.
I have just informed the President that I am withdrawing my name from consideration for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Daschle said. "Right now, I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction.
President Obama handed a written statement to reporters early Tuesday afternoon responding to the decision.
This morning Tom Daschle asked me to withdraw his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services. I accept his decision with sadness and regret, he said. Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I."
Sen. Jim DeMint, a top pro-life Republican who had called on Daschle to withdraw his name from consideration for the top post, told MSNBC that the public was upset at Obama and Daschle for not having withdrawn earlier.
The American people were really mad about it," he said. "There were hundreds of calls into my office, This is not change, this is not what we bargained for."
As the health secretary, Daschle would have played a role in shaping Obama’s health care plan, which has come under fire for possibly including abortion coverage or mandating that hospitals or insurance companies cover abortions.
Daschle would also have been in a position to rescind the protections the Bush administration put in place for pro-life doctors and medical centers.
The Bush protections make sure medical facilities and medical personnel are not forced to be involved in abortions that violate their moral or religious views. The new HHS rules strengthen existing laws by providing for funding cuts for agencies or medical centers that violate them.
Daschle has a long pro-abortion voting record as a member of Congress and was defeated by current pro-life Sen. John Thune in part because of the abortion divide.
The last two years of Daschle’s tenure depict the kind of pro-abortion voting record he maintained.
In March 2003, Daschle voted for a Senate resolution endorsing Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy and ushered in an era of nearly 50 million abortions.
While Daschle voted for the national partial-birth abortion ban that the Supreme Court eventually upheld, he cast two votes on pro-abortion measures that would have weakened it to the point of being ineffective.
Daschle’s record was so poor that the National Right to Life Committee gave him only a 27 percent pro-life voting record from 2003-2004, a 0 percent record in 2001-2002, an 11 percent record in 1999-2000, and a 20 percent record from 1997-1998.
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