Former Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) and other pro-life Democrats plan to issue a formal challenge to the hold that Planned Parenthood and NARAL have on the Democratic Party when it meets for its convention in Charlotte on September 4th.
Stupak, who became known as the lawmaker who traded his vote for Obamacare for an executive order that “symbolically” banned taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare, has helped to organize Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), a group that asserts the Democratic party must be more “diverse” and “inclusive” on the issue of abortion.
Kristen Day, executive director of DFLA, told CNS News that a challenge to the 2012 Democratic platform was necessary because the party has totally shut out pro-life views. “The draft platform released… is greatly weakened by its failure to recognize the party’s pro-life constituency,” Day said. She added that roughly one-third of Democrats are pro-life.
The Democratic Party platform committee completely rejected the pro-life language submitted by DFLA. Major opponents of the DFLA submissions included NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan.
The Democratic National Committee announced on Wednesday that a veritable “abortion triple-crown” will address the convention: NARAL’s Keenan, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, and Georgetown University law student activist, Sandra Fluke, who now campaigns with President Obama. “Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria will also speak at the convention.
In June it was reported that Stupak had submitted an eight-page comment, co-signed by DFLA members, to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) asserting that the HHS mandate, that is part of Obamacare, should not force religious organizations, institutions, or individuals to violate their consciences. Stupak wrote that the contraception mandate “will set a harmful precedent if, as may be anticipated, government ever considers mandates to fund or facilitate abortions.”
Despite Stupak’s comment, groups such as National Right to Life Committee charged that Stupak and DFLA were simply making “another pathetic attempt… to put some pancake make-up over some of the uglier aspects of Obamacare.” Douglas Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life, observed that Stupak’s “letter asserts that the ObamaCare law preserves the Hyde Amendment, when, in fact, the ObamaCare contains multiple abortion-expanding provisions that represent a huge break from the principles of the Hyde Amendment.”
Johnson added, “Bart Stupak and Kristen Day may be nearly the last people on Planet Earth who are still pretending that the bogus Obama executive order was anything more than a political scam.”
Stupak retired in 2010 and was replaced by Dan Benishek, a pro-life Republican physician.