Bus Tour Opposing Abortion in Health Care Raises Ire of "Pro-Life" Democrats

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bus Tour Opposing Abortion in Health Care Raises Ire of "Pro-Life" Democrats

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 12
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The bus tour the Susan B. Anthony List is sponsoring through the Midwest to highlight the way in which some "pro-life" Democrats voted for the pro-abortion health care bill is raising the ire of the House members from Indiana and Ohio. They are responding to the criticism with assertions pro-life groups aren’t pro-life.

The SBA List is today continuing a 23-city bus tour, “Votes Have Consequences,” in the districts of six congressional Democrats who say they are pro-life but voted for a bill that virtually every pro-life group agrees will ultimately result in abortion funding.

Former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave is leading the tour because she says voters in the districts, some of whom will be casting ballots in key toss-up elections that could decide who controls Congress, need to know the new law represents the “largest expansion of abortion funded by our tax dollars since Roe v. Wade.”

“Perhaps they thought that the executive order would give them some cover,” Musgrave said, referring to the disputed executive order President Barack Obama signed that merely restates the unworkable and ineffective limits on abortion funding in the bill. “Not working.”

Some of the members of Congress targeted in the bus tour have responded to it but Steve Fought, a spokesperson for Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, went further than others by accusing the SBA List and pro-life groups of not being pro-life and opposing the bill merely because Obama signed it than because it funds abortions.

“I think these so-called pro-life groups—I think their complaint is more with who’s signing the executive order than the executive order itself,” Fought told Human Events. I think what it points to is, simply, they have a political agenda. Their political agenda, anti-Obama, is stronger than their belief in consistency when it comes to pro-life issues.”

“Some people you’re never going to satisfy. Some people, it’s never enough. And those folks fall into that category,” Fought said and told Human Events the groups he thinks aren’t truly pro-life include some of the top pro-life organizations in the country: Americans United for Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Susan B. Anthony List, and the National Right to Life Committee.

He also accused the pro-life groups of not representing the views of their members — even though polling data has consistently shown a large majority of Americans oppose both abortion funding and the health care bill Obama signed and his Democratic colleagues supported.

“If you’re talking about the organizations themselves, they were opposed to it,” Fought said. “But, if you talk about the individuals, it depends on the individual.… Sometimes organizations don’t represent the interest of their membership necessarily, and I think that’s the case here with the executive order.”

Despite the attacks on the pro-life groups, they are the very ones who spoke up weeks ago when the Obama administration authorized abortion funding under the health care plan in three states via high risk health insurance pools.

The Obama administration eventually had to back down in the face of the national criticism of the allowed abortion funding, though it still would not put a prohibition in place preventing the program overall from funding abortions — instead choosing to limit any prohibitions to the high risk pools.

Emily Buchanan, the director of the Susan B. Anthony List, tells LifeNews.com that the pro-life Democrats her group is targeting had the chance to stop the abortion funding, but didn’t.

"Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Joe Donnelly, once pro-life Democrats who sold out the values of their Indiana constituents by supporting the biggest expansion of abortion since Roe, are quickly learning that Votes Have Consequences as our bus roars through towns across their districts, big and small," she said. "We’ve visited seven towns so far and will hit 10 more before visiting the Indiana state fair for a day. On Sunday, the tour will head east to make more stops in Ohio (we kicked off the tour in Cincinnati) and Pennsylvania."

"It’s clear to me from the ground that Reps. Ellsworth and Donnelly thought they could get away with selling out their principles. They thought they could make backroom deals with President Obama and Speaker Pelosi without their constituents even noticing," she said. "Unfortunately for them, our Votes Have Consequences Tour is ensuring every voter in their district knows that they sold out, especially thanks to earned media the tour is generating such as local television and newspaper coverage. They’re so worried they’ve even sent out counter-protesters from "Catholics United," a George Soros-funded group masquerading as a pro-life organization."

Ultimately, voters, not pro-life groups nor the much-maligned Democrats, will decide their fate. And in some of the districts, such as that of Ohio rep. Steve Driehaus and the state of Indiana, where Ellsworth is seeking a Senate seat, they may find they are out of a job.


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