Lone Republican to Back House Health Care Bill Opposes Pro-Abortion Senate Bill
by Steven Ertelt
January 19, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The only Republican in the House of Representatives to vote for that chamber’s health care bill opposes the Senate version. Rep. Anh Joseph Cao of Louisiana could support the House bill because it banned abortion funding but he opposes the Senate version because it forces tax-funded abortions.
Should Scott Brown win the Massachusetts special Senate election today, the Senate will not likely be able to produce 60 votes to overcome the filibuster against the pro-abortion, government-run health care bill.
As a result, one fallback position for President Barack Obama and Democrats is to get the House to pass the Senate bill.
They won’t be able to rely on any Republican votes because a representative of Cao says he opposes the pro-abortion Senate bill.
Its a complete deal breaker with him if theres not sufficient language to protect the lives of the unborn, Cao spokeswoman Princella Smith told the Wall St. Journal Tuesday morning. The Senate version does not have that sufficient language.
Cao was trained as a Catholic priest and has a role as an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, he holds a strong pro-life position and once said he would rather save his soul than ever vote for a bill that promotes abortion.
Cao told the New Orleans Times Picayune back in August that he would rather "save his soul" than vote for a pro-abortion health care bill.
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 told the newspaper at the time.
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 that normally votes for Democrats and he is literally putting his career on the line if he votes against the bill if it funds abortions.
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 August newspaper interview, Cao seems to place opposing abortion as a higher 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 I 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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