Dale Kildee Draws Pro-Life Scorn for Backing Pro-Abortion Senate Health Bill

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

Dale Kildee Draws Pro-Life Scorn for Backing Pro-Abortion Senate Health Bill

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 16
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Congress Dale Kildee used to be able to consider himself one of the pro-life Democratic champions until today. For leading pro-life groups, he removed his name from the list of pro-life luminaries by endorsing the pro-abortion Senate health care bill that funds and promotes abortions.

Thought to be part of the Stupak coalition of pro-life Democrats joining Republicans in opposition to the pro-abortion measure, Kildee announced today he will vote for it.

Kildee downplayed the problems in the Senate bill and went as far as claiming it will not fund abortions and using religious terms to support his decision.

"For those who know me, I have always respected and cherished the sanctity of human life. I spent 6 years studying to be a priest and was willing to devote my life to God. I came to Congress two years after the Hyde Amendment became law and I have spent the last 34 years casting votes to protect the lives of the unborn," Kildee said.

"I have stood up to many in my party to defend the right to life and have made no apologies for doing so. I now find myself disagreeing with some of the people and groups I have spent a lifetime working with. I have listened carefully to both sides, sought counsel from my priest, advice from family, friends and constituents and I have read the Senate abortion language more than a dozen times," he continued.

"I am convinced that the Senate language maintains the Hyde Amendment, which states that no federal money can be used for abortion," Kildee added even though the Hyde amendment doesn’t apply to the bill.

The Senate bill includes a “conscience clause” and allows states to ban plans that include abortion, Kildee noted — though he didn’t include information on how residents of states that don’t opt out will be forced to pay for abortions and how the bill mandates that at least one plan in the exchange must pay for abortions.

Kildee’s decision drew strong condemnation from pro-life advocates back home in Michigan.

"Today, Rep. Dale Kildee announced he will support the Senate-passed health care bill. This statement from Rep. Kildee is disappointing coming from a person who calls himself pro-life," Right to Life of Michigan president Barb Listing told LifeNews.com.

"The Senate health care bill would expand the role of the federal government in abortion procedures because it excludes the language of the Hyde amendment," she explained. "We cannot attempt to care for the health needs of some of the people in the United States by eliminating the life of others under the guise of health care reform. Abortion has no place in health care reform efforts and until clear language is inserted into the Senate-passed health care bill, groups like Right to Life of Michigan will speak up."

"Health care should not expand abortion funding forcing tax-payers to be part of the deliberate taking of human life. Rep. Dale Kildee may call himself pro-life, but his actions speak louder than his words," Listing concluded.

Meanwhile, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, said Kildee was wrong to embrace the Nelson language.

She said that is the very abortion language pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, called merely an “accounting scheme.”

“Congressman Kildee’s support for the Nelson language goes completely against his pro-life record and principles. His vote for healthcare will be one for abortion and against Life—there is no middle ground," she told LifeNews.com late Wednesday.

"Congressman Kildee has put himself on the side of Barbara Boxer, who last November told McClatchy News’ Rob Hotakainen that the Nelson language was ‘only an “accounting procedure” that will do nothing to restrict coverage,’" Dannenfelser added.

The SBA List leader pointed to polling data showing 75% of voters in Rep. Kildee’s district oppose taxpayer funding of abortion as part of health care reform, according to a survey commissioned by the pro-life group this week.

Another 56% of Rep. Kildee’s constituents surveyed also said that they would be less likely to vote for him next Election Day if he supported healthcare with abortion funding.

“Congressman Kildee has traded the lives of the unborn. He has made this choice to his own political peril. The Susan B. Anthony List will use all the resources available to ensure each voter in the Michigan’s fifth district knows exactly what Congressman Kildee has done—betrayed his conscience, and the unborn. The voters will remember this come November," Dannenfelser promised.

ACTION: Contact Dale Kildee at https://www.house.gov/kildee

Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org
Susan B. Anthony List – https://www.sba-list.org

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