Democrat Behind Fake Abortion Funding Amendment Draws Strong Opposition
by Steven Ertelt
November 6, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Before this week, Indiana congressman Brad Ellsworth was regarded as one of the consistently pro-life Democratic members of Congress. Once applauded as one of the much-needed pro-life Democrats to stop the pro-abortion health care bill, Ellsworth could single-handedly get it approved.
That’s because he is trying to siphon off Democrats once thought to be a part of a solid block of 40 pro-life stalwarts.
Pro-life advocates were counting on them to join pro-life Republicans in defeating the pro-abortion health care bill unless Speaker Nancy Pelosi would relent and allow a vote on an authentically pro-life amendment from Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak to block all abortion funding.
As LifeNews.com reported earlier this week, Ellsworth has worked with pro-abortion Democrats to come up with a new amendment that claims to ban abortion funding but doesn’t.
Now, he is facing tough scrutiny from pro-life groups and at home.
Doug Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, went as far as saying it was a "bayonet in the back from someone who said he was on our side."
Indiana Right to Life is so disappointed that it has launched two radio ads for stations in Indiana’s eight congressional district highlighting the problems with the amendment.
"The Ellsworth amendment has been thoroughly reviewed by National Right to Life, The US Catholic Conference of Bishops, and the House Pro-Life Caucus, all of whom agree that the Ellsworth amendment will do nothing to stop federal funding for abortions under the Pelosi-backed health plan," the group says.
IRTL director Mike Fichter tells LifeNews.com that he contacted Ellsworth to ask him to support the authentic Stupak amendment and never heard back.
Ellsworth and his staff have vigorously defended his actions.
"I know what’s in my heart, I know what’s in my head and I think the big guy upstairs knows," he said, adding that the criticism doesn’t bother him.
And Ellsworth spokeswoman Liz Farrar provided another comment from the congressman: "As I have said repeatedly, I will not support a bill that I believe would result in federal tax dollars being used to pay for abortions, and, with the help of pro-life constituents, I am leading the effort to protect federal tax dollars and provide pro-life insurance options to Americans."
But Fichter says Ellsworth is being used by pro-abortion Democrats.
"If your language is not withdrawn, it will have the effect of undercutting the Stupak amendment and will be used by Speaker Pelosi to advance an abortion agenda as part of her nationalized health care bill," he says in an open letter to Ellsworth.
Johnson told a newspaper in Ellsworth’s hometown he agrees.
"The pro-abortion side is using Ellsworth’s phony language to undercut the real pro-life amendment, which is Congressman Bart Stupak’s amendment. Mr. Ellsworth is allowing himself to be used to, perhaps, score brownie points with House Democratic leaders," he said.
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