A Republican Congressman who voted against legislation to defund the abortion chain Planned Parenthood said this week that he will retire at the end of his term.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican from Pennsylvania, often strays from his party’s pro-life stance on abortion. A political moderate, Dent said he will not seek re-election in 2018.
Dent has a mixed voting record on pro-life issues. He only supports pro-life legislation about half of the time, according to the National Right to Life Committee. Most recently, he was one of two House Republicans who voted against a bill to defund the largest abortion business in America, Planned Parenthood.
Breitbart reports Dent’s announcement came after several conservative groups held a rally last week in his hometown protesting his pro-abortion voting record and obstruction of President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Dent served seven terms in Congress; as a moderate Republican, he sided with Democrats almost as frequently as he did his own party.
Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, which helped organize the protest last week, told Breitbart that Dent’s voting record basically makes him a Democrat. Manning said Dent seems to feel more “comfortable” working with pro-abortion Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi than leaders of his own party.
Here’s more from Politico:
Dent described himself as a member of the “governing wing of the Republican Party” and said he’s always sought to “fulfill the basic functions of government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default.”
“Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos,” he said.
… Dent is leader of the centrist Tuesday Group. He has openly questioned the the GOP’s proposed budget and the president’s efforts on tax reform.
In February, Dent voted against a bill that would have overturned a rule pro-abortion President Barack Obama put in place preventing states from defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) prevented states from blocking Title X funding to abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.
U.S. Rep. John J. Faso of New York was the only other U.S. House Republican to oppose the measure.
In 2015, Dent also was accused of sabotaging a U.S. House vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The bill would have banned abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain.
Together, Dent and other Republican lawmakers reportedly got enough lawmakers to cast doubts on the outcome of the bill that House Republican leaders were forced to pull the measure from a debate and vote on the floor.
Dent reportedly objected to the vote on the grounds that the language in the bill did not do enough to allow women who have been victimized by rape to have abortions.