Republican Leader Boehner Gets Pro-Life Award for Opposing Pro-Abortion Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
June 26, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — House Republican Leader John Boehner received an award from the National Right to Life Committee today for his part in leading the opposition in Congress to the pro-abortion health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law.
Boehner made opposition to the massive abortion funding it contained a centerpiece of his opposition to it.
"In all the important leadership offices he has held, John Boehner has been a faithful defender of unborn children, disabled persons and seniors whose right to life may be jeopardized. He has consistently voted to pass pro-life leg and block anti-life legislation in his two decades in the House," NRLC co-director Darla St. Martin said in introducing Boehner.
She told the crowd of hundreds of cheering pro-life advocates, "Boehner has been an active supporter of a number of successful pro-life efforts over the years.
"He has been a major impediment to the advance of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid pro-abortion agenda," she said. "Boehner relentlessly used his office to attempt to thwart" the massive abortion funding in the health care bill and he used the "sheer force of his his as he confronted Pelosi and other pro-abortion leaders" on the legislation.
"Not a single one of the 178 House Republicans voted for that deadly pro-abortion Obamacare bill," thanks to Boehner, St. Martin added. "On behalf of every pro-lifer here and across America, we thank you John Boehner."
"Respect for life has never been a political position for me, it’s just who I am," Boehner said. He accepted the award, saying he was "deeply, deeply honored," and it is "truly a badge of honor."
"It’s the collective energy of the NRLC and its state affiliates that has made a real difference in our country," he added.
During his acceptance speech, Boehner said, "America is a nation that is built on freedom, but without respect for life that freedom is in jeopardy Wen we reaffirm our commitment to life we reaffirm our commitment to freedom. We should always err on the side of life and respect the dignity of human life. We have a moral obligation to defend the defenseless and there is nothing more defenseless and more innocent than an unborn baby. The defense of life and the defense of freedom are necessarily linked and, if we accept that, we can’t accept the current agenda in Washington."
"I never sought to be recognized as a leader of a movement or wear my pro-life credentials on my sleeve. I just voted for what I thought was right and spoke out on what I thought was right. But, if you believe in the right to life, being quiet isn’t good enough," the GOP House leader continued.
Boehner said he was not surprised President Barack Obama has advanced the abortion agenda because he spoke to Planned Parenthood before the 2008 presidential election and said he would make protecting and promoting abortion a hallmark of his presidency.
He bashed Obama for revoking the Mexico City Policy and for promoting an executive order funding embryonic stem cell research even though science shows adult stem cells are doing more to help people.
Boehner said Obama as weakened conscience protections for medical professionals and has moved the country towards allowing abortions on military bases.
Boehner used some of his harshest criticism on the health care bill and said Obama issued a "disingenuous last minute executive order" and "as far as anyone can tell,the administration hasn’t lifted a finger to stop this abortion funding."
He said he can’t get an answer out of the president either: "I asked President Obama personally and everyone in the room heard me ask the question and we’re still waiting for an answer. I say all of this with a great sadness — a sadness for the unborn absolutely — but a sadness for our nation. This policies don’t unite America."
"It’s clear from the health care debate that Americans don’t want their tax dollars used for abortions. It is the will of America and a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives agrees," Boehner added.
The GOP leader said Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey will be introducing a bill that would remove the abortion funding from the bill.
"I’ll call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer and ask them to bring it to an immediate vote in the House," he said.
"We need to repeal the health care bill and start over with commonsense reforms that will lower the cost of health care in America and protect the sanctity of human life," Boehner continued.
Ultimately, he told the cheering crowd to be mindful of which candidates are truly pro-life.
"We need to know who the defenders of life really are. Any politician can say he or she is pro-life but actions speak louder than words," he said.
This is the second time this year Boehner has received an award for his pro-life efforts in opposing the government-run health care bill that funds and promotes abortions.
Boehner choked up in May as he received an award at a reception sponsored by Americans United for Life. Boehner received the 2010 Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award and he became emotional during his acceptance speech as he talked about his family and Hyde, the pro-life luminary whose name still adorns the annual amendment to stop taxpayer funded abortions outside the health care bill.
"Look, Henry Hyde was a hero of mine," he said. "I’ve always believed that life begins at conception. I’ve always thought abortion was wrong, and speaking out against it was never difficult. It was a moral position I felt very strongly about."
Boehner was moved to tears and he lost his composure telling the crowd he has 11 brothers and sisters, saying, "I know it wasn’t convenient for my mother to have 12 of us."
"But I’m sure glad they’re all here," he said, as he left the stage, unable to continue.
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