Tea Party activist David Lewis has announced he will challenge pro-life Speaker John Boehner next year in the Republican primary for his Ohio congressional seat. Lewis says he is running because of one issue — pro-life — yet he misstates and misrepresent’s Boehner’s pro-life record on abortion.
Boehner is “an establishment Republican,” Lewis told The Enquirer newspaper, adding, “He doesn’t believe in the Tea Party. He doesn’t really believe in the pro-life issues.”
Boehner’s office has not commented on Lewis’ candidacy but the local Republican Party chairman, Dave Kern, told the Cincinnati newspaper, “I have no issue on educating the public on the wrongs of abortion. But I think the young man is mistaken to try to do damage to a committed soldier in this battle. His efforts could be spent more productively in other directions, and that’s certainly what I would advise.”
Mistaken is an apt word to describe Lewis’ erroneous portrait of Boehner’s record on abortion as both an Ohio congressman and the Speaker of the House.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, in 90 votes Boehner has cast on pro-life issues — ranging from abortion and abortion funding, to de-funding Planned Parenthood, to keep abortion out of Obamacare, and on bioethics issues — Boehner has never cast a single pro-abortion vote.
NRLC was so impressed with Boehner’s record that, in June 2010, it gave him an award 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 will 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.”
That was the second time last year that Boehner received an award for his pro-life efforts in opposing the government-run health care bill that funds and promotes abortions. Boehner choked up 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.
Boehner continued his fight to oppose abortion and abortion funding this year when he pressed President Barack Obama to agree to revoking federal taxpayer funding for the abortion business in a deal between Republicans and Democrats on legislation to fund the federal government. Boehner pressed Obama twice and Obama refused his request. Obama agreed to reinstate a ban on taxpayer funding of abortions in the District of Columbia and to allow a vote in the Senate on Planned Parenthood funding but he refused to cut any taxpayer disbursements to the abortion business.
“Nope, zero,” he told Boehner when the pro-life Speaker asked him how much he would cut from Planned Parenthood. Boehner asked Obama again, to which Obama responded, “Nope. Zero. John, this is it.”
Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest thanked Boehner “for his leadership in gaining Senate votes on de-funding the scandal-ridden Planned Parenthood and repealing the President’s pro-abortion health care law.”
“Speaker Boehner achieved what most said was impossible – cutting taxpayer funding of abortion in the District of Columbia and guaranteeing straight up-or-down votes in the Senate on both defunding Planned Parenthood and President Obama’s pro-abortion health care law,” she told LifeNews.
The end result for Boehner and the upcoming election? While one Tea Party activist claims Boehner isn’t pro-life or isn’t concerned with abortion, those who know him best and those who are on the front lines of the abortion battles in Congress call him a pro-life champion.