Labor Unions Attack Democrats Who Don’t Support Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Labor Unions Attack Democrats Who Don’t Support Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 14
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents nearly two million workers in over 100 occupations across the United States, is coming under fire. The labor union is pressuring Democratic lawmakers who oppose the pro-abortion health care bill.

In some cases, the union is threatening pro-life Democrats and others who are undecided on the legislation with supporting primary election opponents if they don’t vote yes on the bill or motions to make the bill law.

The House is expected to vote as soon as this week on the Senate bill that includes abortion funding and promotion.

According to the Plum Line blog, Rep Mike McMahon of New York met recently with Mike Fishman, president of SEIU 32bj, the largest property workers union in the country.

Fishman threatened McMahon with dropping its support for him if he voted no and finding a primary opponent to run against him.

“He let us know he’s not supportive of the health care plan,” Fishman said, according to Plum Line. “We’ve let him know that we can’t support somebody who doesn’t support it. We are going to begin talking to other unions about finding someone else for that seat."

"We’re sending a message to Democrats: If you can’t support this, we can’t support you," he added.

Meanwhile, Fire Dog Lake blog reports that Organizing for America is also heavily lobbying members of the House for the bill.

"Organizing for America has returned to the fray. I’ve received multiple text messages asking me to call my Rep. in support of the bill," the blog reported. "In addition, volunteer phone banks are being set up throughout the country to call voters in swing districts, getting them to call their representatives to support the bill. No doubt these calls are going into the 40-odd districts where the vote of a particular member of Congress has yet to be decided."

Rep. Bart Stupak, the leading pro-life Democrat in the House, tells National Review that his pro-life colleagues are feeling the heat.

“I am a definite ‘no’ vote,” he says. “I didn’t cave. The others are having both of their arms twisted, and we’re all getting pounded by our traditional Democratic supporters, like unions.”

Other liberal groups are also viciously attacking pro-life Democrats, Stupak told National Review.

“This has really reached an unhealthy stage,” Stupak says. “People are threatening ethics complaints on me. On the left, they’re really stepping it up. Every day, from Rachel Maddow to the Daily Kos, it keeps coming. Does it bother me? Sure. Does it change my position? No.”

Stupak is worried that his pro-life colleagues will support the bill if only because of the enormous pressure bearing on them from unions and party leaders.

“I’m telling the others to hold firm, and we’ll meet next week, but I’m disappointed in my colleagues who said they’d be with us and now they’re not. It’s almost like some right-to-life members don’t want to be bothered. They just want this over," he said.

This isn’t the first time SEIU has advanced the pro-abortion position. In 2005, it networked with one of the top pro-abortion gorups.

ACTION: Contact SEIOU to complain at

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