Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a pro-abortion New Jersey Democrat, passed away early this morning. He was 89 and was last remaining World War II veteran in the Senate.
Lautenberg’s Senate office said the senator died “due to complications from viral pneumonia at 4:02 a.m. today.” He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, four children, two step-children and 13 grandchildren.
“I join my colleagues in mourning the loss of Sen. Frank Lautenberg who passed away this morning. My prayers are with his family and friends,” pro-life Republican Sen. Mike Lee said in response on Twitter.
The senator announced in February that he would be retiring from his Senate seat and would not seek re-election in 2014.
“I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey,” Lautenberg told the paper. “While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a pro-life Republican, will appoint Lautenberg’s replacement and will set up a special election later this year. New Jersey voters will vote in 2014 for a new senator for a new six-year term.
“Christie has broad authority on setting the date for the special election. New Jersey is already holding a gubernatorial and state legislative election on Nov. 5, with the primaries being held June 4,” the Washington Post indicates.
Last year, Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced he had formed an exploratory committee to look at running for the Senate seat. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is also looking at running, as well. Both strongly support abortion.
In 2011, Lautenberg came under fire from pro-life advocates for comments he made at a recent rally Planned Parenthood staged to save taxpayer funding for its abortion business.
Lautenberg, who had a strong pro-abortion record, appeared with about 100 supporters who wore pink shirts and stood in front of a pink-colored bus Planned Parenthood has been driving around the country in order to build up support for receiving tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to support what is the biggest abortion business in the country.
“Planned Parenthood is under attack by Tea Party Republicans who have put their extremist ideology above women’s health,” Lautenberg said while pro-life advocates who counterprotested shouted, “Shame on you, Lautenberg.”
The pro-abortion New Jersey senator fired back: “These people (referring to the pro-life advocates) don’t deserve the freedoms in the Constitution.”
Then, as an afterthought, he said, “but we’ll give it to them anyway.”
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
The comment came under heavy criticism from Marie Tasy, the director of New Jersey Right to Life.
“Lautenberg’s remarks and attitude were extremely inappropriate for a U.S. Senator,” Tasy told LifeNews.com, adding that the comment “bears repeating because it provides evidence of how Planned Parenthood and its supporters actually feel.”
“This statement is shameful coming from a U.S. Senator,” Tasy added. “Lautenberg made these remarks surrounded by Planned Parenthood employees, supporters and state lawmakers who applauded him. These remarks are absolutely shameful and need to be exposed.”