U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Congressman and strong pro-life advocate, will not seek re-election in 2016, according to a press release from his office.
Maria Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told LifeNews the congressman will be greatly missed.
“Congressman Joe Pitts has been a true champion of the rights of the most vulnerable among us,” Gallagher said. “In both word and in action, he has worked to safeguard innocent human life at every stage of development.
Pitts, a Republican from the state’s 16th Congressional District, has advocated for right to life issues since he was first elected to the U.S. House in 1997.
Recently, Pitts has been helping to lead investigations of Planned Parenthood after a series of undercover videos showed the abortion business haggling over the price of aborted babies’ body parts and discussing how they change the abortion procedure to procure them. He recently was appointed to the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel to investigate the abortion business.
After concluding his term, Pitts intends to continue his work for human rights around the world, according to the press release. Pitts said human rights advocates like William Wilberforce, President Ronald Reagan, and pro-life Congressman Henry Hyde have inspired him to be a passionate advocate for life.
“As a person of faith, and a follower of Jesus, I believe that we are called to pursue justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves,” Pitts said in the press release. “I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom, both domestic and international, as well as on matters of culture and the American family.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List thanked Congressman Pitts for his public service, saying:
“For nearly twenty years, Congressman Joe Pitts has been a champion for the unborn and their mothers. From founding the Values Action Team to promote life and family, to serving as an active member of the House Pro-life Caucus, he has been an unyielding champion for the pro-life movement. He will be greatly missed.
“Rep. Pitts has been a tireless ally in the legislative battles of the last two decades, including the fight to address taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare, to advance the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and to defund Big Abortion. His 2010 appointment as chairman of the high-profile Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health was revealing of his profound leadership ability and policy knowledge. Following in the footsteps of Henry Hyde, Rep. Pitts has played a critical role in Congress’ ability to advance meaningful protections for the unborn as well as the conscience rights of taxpayers. We wish Congressman Pitts and his family the best in the future.”