What a tragedy. After standing firm for so long against such pressure, Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak (D) betrayed his fellow pro-lifers and bought in to a worthless promise from the Abortion President. The Stupak Amendment banning abortion funding in health care garnered 240 votes in the House. The final vote on this unconstitutional and unwise health care takeover – which includes federal funding of abortion – was 219.
There is probably no other measure connected with health care that could command such strong bi-partisan support as last fall’s Stupak Amendment. All the cries for civility and comity, for “reaching across the aisle,” for bringing the American people together were realized in that Stupak Amendment. Bart Stupak got 64 Democrats and every Republican to vote for his amendment last November. And then, he threw it all away.
Henry Hyde’s name will forever be associated with opposition to federal funding of abortion. As a freshman Congressman in 1976, in a House of Representatives dominated by Democrats, big, bluff, friendly Hank Hyde was truly willing to extend his hand across the aisle. He worked with deeply committed pro-life Democrats gladly. Protecting Hyde’s back then was the Hon. William Natcher (D-Ky.), one of the great legislators of the twentieth century. Mr. Natcher’s wisdom, integrity, and deeply held faith were respected by all who knew him. From his post as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Mr. Natcher made sure that Freshman Hyde’s amendment would not be gutted by pro-abortion lawmakers operating behind closed doors in the Democratic caucus.
The Hyde Amendment has been voted up time after time, for the past thirty-three years. Henry Hyde has gone to his reward. So has Mr. Natcher. But those who remember this great pro-life Republican and this great pro-life Democrat cherish their memories.
What will we remember about poor Bart Stupak?
That he stood firm, except when it really counted? That he bravely took months and months of abuse, only to fold at the last minute? That he accepted a worthless scrap of paper from the most determined pro-abortion President in U.S. history?
Isn’t the sight of committed pro-abortion legislators assuring us again and again that abortion is not funded revolting enough? These people have spent decades voting to make us pay for the slaughter of innocents. Are we suddenly to accept their word? Has even one of them ever voted not to fund abortion? We thought we had a champion in Bart Stupak, a man of the left, but a man of integrity. How cruel a disappointment it is to find we were wrong. Mr. Stupak may run, but he can’t Hyde.