Congressman Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, railed against pro-life groups on Tuesday, calling them hypocritical for supporting President Bush’s executive order on stem cells and not believing that President Obama’s executive order regarding abortion funding in the health care act is “good enough.” Mr. Obama is expected to sign the executive order today:
PICKET: There’s the motion to re-commit, in which you voted against your own…
STUPAK: Voted against my own language. In the motion to re-commit…yes because I feel that we have adequately—more than adequately protected life, the sanctity of life especially with the executive order, the colloquy on the floor. And as I said on the floor, the right to life groups applauded George Bush in 2007 when he did his executive order, and now we did our executive order, suddenly its not good enough? I believe some groups politicize life. As I said in my motion , when I spoke against the motion[to recommit], ‘let’s not politicize life.” Let’s prioritize life, and that’s what we did in this legislation and the executive order.
PICKET: There’s an idea out there, that essentially, no matter what, you were going to put the health care bill over the abortion issue.
STUPAK: I don’t think that’s true. My statements…
PICKET:…giving political cover for the bill as well for yourself though the executive order. What do you have to say to that?
STUPAK: With this whole debate for the last year, all my motives have been questioned, and I’m sure they’ll be questioned from now until the end of my days. Whether its my personal integrity, where I live, my Catholic faith, everyone is questioning it, and I just think that people should look and see what we did—protected life, stayed true to our principles, and got health care passed.
PICKET: Do you believe in the primacy of the Pope over in Rome?
STUPAK: Do I believe in the primacy…can you explain that to me?
PICKET: Well considering the Vatican have in terms of the Catholic religion…
STUPAK: The Pope and the Catholic faith does not control Catholic legislators. We must vote reflective of our districts and our beliefs. When I vote pro-life, it happens to be my own personal belief, also my district’s beliefs and the nation’s. As the polls show 61 percent of the American people believe we should not use public funds to pay for abortion. I agree with that.