Congressman Takes Mic Away From Pro-Life Advocate at Health Care Town Hall
by Steven Ertelt
August 27, 2009
Delphi, IN (LifeNews.com) — A Democratic congressman is facing criticism from a pro-life constituent who says he took a microphone away from her as she tried to ask him questions about the abortion and rationing components of the government-run health care plan.
Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana is a pro-life member of Congress, but Margie Haley tells LifeNews.com that she is disappointed she wasn’t able to finish asking her question before he took the mic away from her.
"I had a few notes on the margins of a church bulletin," she told LifeNews.com "but I was not allowed to have my say in peace, as did many others."
In a video provided to LifeNews.com, Haley is seen rattling off several concerns she has about the health care bill in an attempt to get Donnelly to comment on them, and as she got to the subject of abortion, Donnelly apparently decided 45 seconds was long enough to share her concerns.
Haley was able to squeeze out the rest, and, just before he took the mic away, she asked her question.
"You’re a member of the Democrat pro-life caucus, aren’t you? What will you do to assure that this bill is abortion-neutral?"
When Donnelly had the microphone, he responded that he had "said over and over again that (he) would not pass a bill that included abortion."
Haley recalled, "I attempted to say I believed, and I was sure I wasn’t alone, that contained in the bills were heavy-handed government mandates for taxpayer-funding of abortion, undue pressure on the elderly to commit suicide or submit to euthanasia, rationing, and the denial of conscience for medical personnel, all on the backs of small businesses struggling to stay afloat."
The Indiana pro-life advocate is concerned that Donnelly is facing so much pressure on the health care bill from abortion advocates and his party that she felt the need to urge him to stick with his pro-life record.
"I believe he wants so badly to have a healthcare bill passed, or there is so much pressure on the Democrats to pass it, that he’s conveniently overlooking what’s there," she said.
Haley said the makeup of the crowd made it clear to her the kind of pressure Donnelly is facing.
"Donnelly held this town hall when many of my friends were at church. When I looked around at that room, I did not recognize a good many of them, and Delphi, Indiana is not that big of a community," she said. "We know that the Democrats had their ‘community organizers’ out going door-to-door in our small town."
Donnelly did confirm he is one of the members of the Pro-Life Caucus, and he has been proud of his 100% pro-life voting record. He also was proud to say he had been ranked the 13th most independent Democrat in the House.
Haley hopes he will follow through on those comment.
"We know that when you get back to Washington, you’ll have to face Nancy Pelosi. And we hope you have the guts to tell her no," one participant said. She agrees.
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