Fred Upton Not Pro-Life Enough to Lead House Energy Committee

Opinion   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 10, 2010   |   1:20PM   |   Washington, DC

With the new Republican control of the House of Representatives, battles are shaping up in some cases for chairmanships of key congressional committees.

Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan, seen as a “moderate” on fiscal and social issues, is lining himself up to take over as the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The panel is the one that had much of the responsibility for pushing the abortion-funding ObamaCare bill through the House. It defeated an amendment to limit abortion funding in July 2009.

He has already come under fire from fiscal conservatives who say his track record is not sufficient to head the powerful committee.

Connie Hair writes at Human Events today that his pro-life record is not strong enough either:

Rep. Fred Upton (R.–Mich.) is lobbying hard for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  A close examination of his voting record brings some disturbing findings.

In 2001, über-liberal Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D.–Calif.) sponsored an amendment to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, an Act that recognizes an unborn child as a legal victim of violence when his or her life is taken in the commission of a federal crime.  The amendment would have given recognition only to the mother without recognizing the unborn child as a victim. 

Upton voted in favor of the amendment.

But there’s more—much more on the life issue alone.

In 1998, 1999, and 2000 Upton voted against the FDA ban on using federal funds for the development, testing, and use of chemicals to induce abortion.  Upton is consistent in his belief that federal funding should be used to develop abortion drugs.

Upton voted against requiring parental notification before an abortion could be performed on a minor and in 2007 voted in favor of cloning human embryos for embryonic stem cell research.

And in 2007, and 2009 Upton voted against amendments offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R.–Ind.) to bar Title X funding specifically for Planned Parenthood abortion mills.

As the inimitable Rush Limbaugh always reminds us, “Words mean things.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

These immortal words from our Declaration of Independence articulate our foundational principles.  The American creed. 

The right to life is unalienable.  We are not born equal; we are created equal.  We are not guaranteed equal outcomes in life, but we do have the right to equal treatment under the law.  We cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.  These rights are non-negotiable.