Stupak now target of all sides in abortion debate

March 22, 2010

Up until a few days ago Bart Stupak, an unassuming Democratic congressman from Michigan, was a hero among American activists opposed to abortion rights (who refer to themselves as “pro-life”). This was because Stupak had managed to insert strong language in the House of Representatives version of the healthcare bill aimed at preventing any federal tax  funds from being used for abortion.

What a difference a weekend makes. President Barack Obama clinched the votes he needed to win passage for his healthcare overhaul on Sunday by winning over a handful of Democratic abortion rights opponents, led by Stupak, with the pledge of an executive order affirming restrictions on the use of federal funds for the procedure.


Stupak was suddenly a traitor to the cause, with barbs like “Judas” thrown his way on the blogosphere. Randy Neugebauer, a Republican congressman from Texas,  reportedly yelled “Baby killer!,” while Stupak explained why he was finally going to support the bill. Neugebauer was later quoted as saying he was referring to the bill and not Stupak himself, but that is the kind of emotional language one often hears in the shouting matches on this issue.

The Susan B. Anthony List, a conservative group that works to get female opponents of abortion rights elected, said it no longer planned to give Stupak its annual “Defender of Life” Award on Wednesday.

This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country,” its president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

The Family Research Council, an influential evangelical political lobby group, also has Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats who supported the healthcare bill in its sights.

On the other side of the abortion divide, Stupak was already a political villian before Sunday’s vote and he remains cast in that role.

Number one on our list is Bart Stupak,” said Elizabeth Shipp, political director of NARAl Pro-Choice America, when asked which candidates her group was targeting,

Stupak has done a lot to stir up this most divisive of political hornet’s nests. Small wonder he’s getting stung from all sides.


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Randy Neugebauer, if your proposals ingnored getting healthcare for 29 million Men, Women, and Children…who is the real baby killer? You are not a real Pro-Lifer.

Posted by Streetfighter | Report as abusive

This is what happens to a person who does not have a core set of beliefs.

Stupak said 6 months ago that he would vote for the bill without the abortion language in it.

He is one of those politicians that has his finger in the air, trying to please the crowd he happens to be with at the moment.

Posted by newellscott | Report as abusive

Abortion is legal in this country.
Apparently the past administration didn’t think all that much about doing anything to change it.

Posted by osito3 | Report as abusive

Stupak stood up during the final debate and put Republicans to shame when he called them out on their obstructionist tactics.

“We prioritize life, you politicize life.”

Posted by AmandaT | Report as abusive

Why bring children to suffer in the real world ?

Posted by PRECIOUS22502 | Report as abusive

dear osito3,
Yes, you are correct, abortion is legal in the US. However, it is a constitutional violation to us public funds to pay for abortion. That law was part of Roe v. Wade, and was at the core of the issue in this healthcare wording…..people do have the choice to have an abortion, or not to have an abortion. This issue is who pays. If you choose to have an abortion, I have an equal right to not have to financially support your decision, just like you should not be obligated to pay for my plastic surgury, which, like abortion, is a personal choice decision.

Posted by mrfiscal | Report as abusive

What are they blathering about when it comes to abortion. No one is required to have an abortion! It’s there for those who feel they have a right to choose! Believe
what you believe and let us do the same. Stop whining!

Posted by liberated | Report as abusive

@AmandaT Actually Stupak put himself to shame by those comments. For him to “oppose” the bill, and make such a show of not supporting it because of his “belief in the sanctity of life,” then to flip and support it after a promise of an executive order (which has absolutely NO value or merit under the law)is absolutely vile. His comments were a complete 180 from his prior stance which rightfully beg the question, “Does he REALLY care about the “sanctity of life”?

I would argue his opposition was the true politicizing of life and that was the issue he held onto hoping to get something more from the deal. Isn’t it ironic that the day before he changed his vote from “no” to “yes” that his district was awarded two airports and several hundred thousand dollars in stimulus money for various projects?

I imagine that is purely coincidental and that the payoff had absolutely nothing to do with him changing his “values” and choosing to support this bill. Either support it or not, but don’t dare claim that the promise of an executive order was the icing on the cake and then turn around and make the comments he did on the floor of the House. Read the transcript of his speech, utterly reprehensible considering his prior stance and “commitment”.

Posted by jhurt | Report as abusive

As far as the Health Care Bill, it passed so no need to discuss history.

He gets what he deserves. He should have keep his mouth shut.

At least he had an opinion which Republicans seems to lack. They vote in a block as a group. No individualism there.

Posted by dennisaa | Report as abusive

Bart Stupak is a solid American believeing that all Americans deserve health care. He hasn’t given up his beliefs. Woe be to those who would chastise him. He will go down in history as a brave, courageous and great American.

Posted by neahkahnie | Report as abusive

I think abortion was just a lame excuse that both parties used.
Neither party cares who lives or dies-only how much money they can line their pockets with.
I guess he must have a girlfriend or something in his past-he looks like he was not bribed but threatened.

Posted by Anna123 | Report as abusive

Just a side show circus act by yet another Demon Cat.

Posted by jeball53 | Report as abusive

Abortion is a very personal issue. And even if it doesn’t fit in morally with one person’s beliefs, making the option safe and above board removes a whole host of problems. Just like drinking and living a fast life, the only way to change is by way of understanding.

A woman who does not want her pregnancy and chooses to have an abortion should not be condemned. She should be given other options that allow for the life of the child to be spared while relieving her of the burden of parenthood. Will attempting to shame these women be of any real use? No. It only alienates them. When a person has a tough choice to make, they aren’t very likely to listen to people who chastise them. But if you have a solution or are offering help of some kind, your words will be welcome.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

I have to agree with Streetfighter; by denying healthcare to 29 million Men, Women, and Children in America this makes Randy Neugebauer a true high volume baby killer. Way to go Randy! You must really hate people to be against this bill. Instead of helping millions you would rather pocket a few extra dollars each pay check. Loser!

Posted by RufusDaddy | Report as abusive

45 years of woman’s rights down the toilet. As a man I marched & supported the right of woman to choose. The Supreme court agreed & we got Roe V Wade. Now in this age of enlightonment we go back to COAT HANGER MEDICINE.What are poor or just woman who made a mistake & got pregnant to do. The rich can pay or just take a long weekend to Puerto Rico or London,(yes,that’s where woman with money used to go)The poor just went to abortion (doctors)with a coat hanger & took there chances. Congrats to the right wing or did I read it wrong & they will be willing to adopt all those upcoming unwanted births?

Posted by free4me | Report as abusive

To put in easy words .. how can a human being be so evil to destroy unborn Americans and adult Americans for Money and position. He had a chance to make American history as one who stood up for the right to life liberty and happiness.. Would he kill his own children or put them in the place to have to depend on Gov. health care. I will never in the remainder of my Life vote Dem. again.

Posted by dadders | Report as abusive