Former Co-Chair of House Pro-Life Caucus, Oberstar to Back Pro-Abortion Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 16, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Former Co-Chair of House Pro-Life Caucus, Oberstar to Back Pro-Abortion Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 16
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Minnesota Rep. James Oberstar, a longtime pro-life advocate who was once the co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus before Rep. Bart Stupak, says he will vote for the pro-abortion health care bill. Meanwhile, undecided Rep. Marcy Kaptur is still leaning no and talked about a recent Catholic endorsement.

Oberstar said today, according to Politico, that he will support the bill after reviewing the abortion language in the Senate health care bill.

Despite unanimous opposition from pro-life groups to the abortion language, that allows both taxpayer funding and promotion of abortion, Oberstar says he’s a yes vote.

"I wanted to see the language, understand it better, have conversations with Sen. Nelson," Oberstar said Wednesday. "On balance, it does what we need to do."

While he talked with Nelson, the Nebraska Democrat who lost his standing with pro-life advocates for authorizing the pro-abortion language, Oberstar said he has not talked with Stupak about supporting the bill.

The congressman said he was not influenced by outside groups, like the Catholic Health Association, which have opposed or supported the bill.

But Rep. Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrats who supports banning government funding of abortion, talked about the CHA endorsement. She says it is not influencing her to support the bill and that she remains undecided.

She continues to say she might switch from yes (on the House bill) to no because of the abortion funding in the Senate bill.

Yesterday evening, speaking to several reporters, she explained why she leans towards the view of the Catholic bishops, who oppose the bill.

"I think the hospitals have a different perspective because they’re running large institutions," Kaptur said. "They have a lot of issues at stake. They have to balance their budgets and so forth. I think that the Bishops are probably in a different position. I don’t think that they’re really managerially responsible for these institutions."

According to the TPM blog, Kaptur said she’s spoken to Rep. Dale Kildee, a pro-life Michigan Democrat who joins Oberstar in supporting the bill despite the abortion funding. She said she didn’t find Kildee’s arguments on the Senate language persuasive.

Related web sites:
Jim Oberstar –
Marcy Kaptur –

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