Congressman: Would Rather Save My Soul Than Back Pro-Abortion Health Care

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressman: Would Rather Save My Soul Than Back Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 4
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Congressman Anh Cao is the first member of the House of Representatives from Vietnam. Cao is a Catholic who strongly favors helping Americans struggling with health care, but he has a high calling that, he says, prevents him from supporting the pro-abortion government-run bill.

HR 3200, the main health care legislation in the House, faces strong opposition from pro-life groups because of its pro-abortion components.

With the Capps amendment a House committee added last week that allows both taxpayer funding of abortion and insurance mandates for abortions, the bill is now in a form that the Louisiana congressman can’t support either.

Because of the "stealth mandate" for abortion present in the bill, Cao tells the New Orleans Times Picayune he would rather "save his soul" than vote for it.

Cao had been the only member of the Louisiana delegation not to release a public statement on the bill and now his stance is perfectly clear.

“At the end of the day if the health care reform bill does not have strong language prohibiting the use of federal funding for abortion, then the bill is really a no-go for me,” Cao, who spent time training as a Jesuit priest, told the newspaper.

“Being a Jesuit, I very much adhere to the notion of social justice,” Cao said.

“I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives,” he told the New Orleans paper.

Cao hails from a very competitive congressional district and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already announced that it will run radio ads against him in his district for opposing the pro-abortion government-run health care plan.

The pro-life advocate is the first Republican to serve the district since 1890 as voters there have backed Democratic candidates every election since.

Yet, in the interview, Cao seems to place opposing abortion as a high priority than saving his own political skin.

“I know that voting against the health care bill will probably be the death of my political career,” Cao said. "But have to live with myself, and I always reflect on the phrase of the New Testament, ‘How does it profit a man’s life to gain the world but to lose his soul.’”

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