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EDITORIAL: Stop taxpayer-funded abortion

- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2010

If the complete government takeover of America's health care system is to be stopped, the battle will be over federal funding for abortion. That important fight could still prove the stumbling block for the Democrats' socialist health care bill.

The pressure is now back on the House of Representatives. Eleven of the Democrats who voted for the House version of the health care bill have repeatedly stated that they did so only because the bill contained firm language banning use of taxpayer funds to support abortion. Indeed, those 11 signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating that they "cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan."

There is also one Republican, Louisiana Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, who voted for the House health bill but who will now oppose it without a prohibition on government-funded abortions. Every other Republican in the House voted against the massive government expenditure already.

The original House health care bill passed by a slim margin of 220 to 215. But with the 11 Democratic members and Mr. Cao promising to vote against the bill if it includes abortion funding (which is included in the Senate bill), Democrats will have to persuade 10 of the 38 Democratic congressmen who voted against the original bill to change their vote to make up the 12 lost votes. (The original number of Democratic dissenters was 39, but Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith has since crossed the aisle and become a Republican.)

Twenty-two of the 38 House Democrats who voted against the health care bill voted to support the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which banned forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions. With that provision removed, these Democrats should have an even more difficult time voting for the government health care takeover. In a world where consistency matters, the Democratic leadership needs to get 10 of the remaining 16 Democratic congressmen to switch their votes. That will take serious arm twisting or some really expensive payoffs.

Thirty of the 38 Democrats represent congressional districts that voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Many are freshmen who need to be extra sensitive to the views of their constituents.

There's a belief in the nation's capital that so-called "moderate" Democrats only vote against their liberal party line when their votes don't count. We hope that's not the case. Either way, constituents for all 38 of these congressmen need to let their voices be heard. These 38 individuals will make the difference. Rasmussen polling finds that Americans by a 14-percentage point margin disapprove of the health care bill passing through Congress. Presumably that opposition is even stronger in the Republican-leaning districts that these congressmen represent. Hopefully, these politicians will listen to their constituents.

Below is a list of the 38 representatives and the districts they represent. The following information indicates which ones voted for the pro-life Stupak-Pitts Amendment, the percentage of the time they have voted for pro-life legislation this year, and the telephone numbers for their Washington and main district offices. In the National Right to Life Voting Rating following the member, a higher percentage indicates a more pro-life voting record.

John Adler (N.J. 3) 0%
Call (202) 225-4765 and (732) 608-7235

Jason Altmire (Pa. 4) 50%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2565 and (724) 378-0928

Brian Baird (Wash. 3) 0%
Call (202) 225-3536 and (360) 695-6292

John Barrow (Ga. 12) 25%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2823 and (912) 354-7282

John Boccieri (Ohio 16) 50%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-3876 or (330) 489-4414

Dan Boren (Okla. 2) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2701 and (918) 687-2533

Rick Boucher (Va. 9) 0%
Call (202) 225-3861 and (276) 628-1145

Allen Boyd (Fla. 2) 0%
Call (202) 225-5235 and (850) 561-3979

Bobby Bright (Ala. 2) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2901 and (334) 794-9680

Ben Chandler (Ky. 6) 25%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-4706 and (859) 219-1366

Travis Childers (Miss. 1) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-4306 and (662) 841-8808

Artur Davis (Ala. 7) 50%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2665 and (205) 254-1960

Lincoln Davis (Tenn. 4) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-6831 and (931) 879-2361

Chet Edwards (Texas 17) 0%
Call (202) 225-6105 and (254) 752-9600

Bart Gordon (Tenn. 6) 25%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-4231 and (615) 896-1986

Tim Holden (Pa. 17) 25%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-5546 and (717) 234-5904

Larry Kissell (N.C. 8) 0%
Call (202) 225-3715 and (704) 786-1612

Suzanne Kosmas (Fla. 24) 0%
Call (202) 225-2706 and (386) 756-9798

Frank Kratovil Jr. (Md. 1) 0%
Call (202) 225-5311 and (443) 262-9136

Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio 10) 25%
Call (202) 225-5871 or (216) 228-8850

Betsy Markey (Colo. 4) 25%
Call (202) 225-4676 and (970) 221-7110

Jim Marshall (Ga. 8) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-6531 and (478) 464-0255

Eric Massa (N.Y. 29) 25%
Call (202) 225-3161 and (585) 218-0040

Jim Matheson (Utah 2) 50%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-3011 and (801) 486-1236

Mike McIntyre (N.C. 7) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2731 and (910) 323-0260

Michael E. McMahon (N.Y. 13) 0%
Call (202) 225-3371 and (718) 351-1062

Charlie Melancon (La. 3) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-4031 and (225) 621-8490

Walt Minnick (Idaho 1) 0%
Call (202) 225-6611 and (208) 888-3188

Scott Murphy (N.Y. 20) 25%
Call (202) 225-5614 and (518) 581-8247

Glenn Nye (Va. 2) 25%
Call (202) 225-4215 and (757) 326-6201

Collin C. Peterson (Minn. 7) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2165 and (218) 847-5056

Mike Ross (Ark. 4) 50%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-3772 and (870) 536-3376

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.) 0%
Call (202) 225-2801 and (605) 367-8371

Heath Shuler (N.C. 11) 75%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-6401 and (828) 252-1651

Ike Skelton (Mo. 4) 75%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2876 and (816) 228-4242

John Tanner (Tenn. 8) 25%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-4714 and (731) 885-7070

Gene Taylor (Miss. 4) 100%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-5772 and (228) 864-7670

Harry Teague (N.M. 2) 25%
Voted for Stupak-Pitts Amendment
Call (202) 225-2365 and (575) 393-0510