March 22nd, 2010
02:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Stupak award rescinded

In a press conference Sunday, Rep. Bart Stupak explained his decision to reach a deal with President Obama that involves Obama issuing an executive order about abortion funding.
In a press conference Sunday, Rep. Bart Stupak explained his decision to reach a deal with President Obama that involves Obama issuing an executive order about abortion funding.

Washington (CNN) – An anti-abortion rights organization is withdrawing an award it planned to present Rep. Bart Stupak, after the Michigan Democrat announced Sunday he would support health care reform legislation.

The Susan B. Anthony List had chosen Stupak to receive the “Defender of Life” award at the “Campaign for Life Gala” Wednesday here in the nation’s capital. Stupak and several Democrats said that they would vote for the health care bill after President Obama assured them that no federal funding would be allowed to pay for abortion. Obama released an executive order that emphasized abortions would not be paid for with federal dollars.

“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,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement shortly before the House was set to vote on the controversial bill.

Dannenfelser charged that the executive order was not enough.

"The executive order on abortion funding does absolutely nothing to fix the problems presented by the health care reform bill that the House will vote on this evening,” she said. “The very idea should offend all pro-life Members of Congress. An executive order can be rescinded at any time at the President's whim, and the courts could and have a history of trumping executive orders. Most importantly, pro-abortion Representatives have admitted the executive order is meaningless."

Updated: 11:28 p.m.: Rep. Stupak spoke with CNN Sunday night about the decision of the Susan B. Anthony List. "I didn't seek the award," Stupak told CNN, "I stood on my principle. I don't need an award."

–CNN Producer Lesa Jansen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Abortion • Bart Stupak • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (327 Responses)
  1. Suzi

    To those who are so angry, please have compassion.

    We spend more per person on health care than any other country in the world and yet our ranking in health care is not at the top. As far as abortions go, government funding for them is not allowed.

    We are 40th worldwide in maternal health care - we are even below Cuba! This bill will provide health care needed for pregnant women and babies. It will save untold lives, misery and illness. This truly is a bill that supports life.

    March 22, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  2. S.B.

    Let them keep their award. I watched Stupak on tv as he spoke against a last ditch Republican attempt to scuttle the bill, and for the first time admired him for standing up to them. What's so ridiculous is that this health reform bill does nothing to increase federal funding of abortions. It merely allows a woman to buy her own insurance for that purpose. Since abortions are legal in this country why shouldn't she have the right to do this? Some of these people seem to still consider women to be second class citizens. Enough is enough!!

    March 22, 2010 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  3. KathyC in MInnesota

    I watched Rep. Bart Stupak's speech before the House Congregation, defending his change to vote YES to this Reform that this was not about Abortion, but about LIFE. That no Federal subsidies in the Insurance Exchange pool will finance Abortions.

    The language of the Hyde Amendment remains steadfast. If a woman chooses to have an abortion, it must be paid for out of pocket.

    This is a historic evening and real reform will now take place. This is a first step to insuring that EVERYONE have access to affordable Health insurance and the best care this country has.

    March 22, 2010 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  4. barbie

    Maybe he does not need an award, but he has sold out the prolife people. I hope they all reject him and all that voted with the Democrats who want to kill the babies. Stupak was and is a sell out. Cant wait to see what deal he got for Michigan. I know he got something they all were bought and PAID for BY OUR TAX DOLLARS! SHAME SHAME SHAME! I really thought this man had a soul. He can be bought just like the rest. I am also ashamed of the procedure that all this came down. Sad day for democracy and the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. THe american people are the losers today but come Nov. The real losers were the 219 cowards tonight!

    March 22, 2010 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  5. Phil

    Why is it always "anti-abortion rights" instead of "pro-life." I'm sick of the negative connotations all of these "unbiased" journalist used to paint any and all pro-life groups in a poor light from the get go.

    March 22, 2010 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  6. paul

    Nobody is PRO Abortion, meaning wanting to kill babies. The President is pro choice and Stupak go more anti abortion in the bill. So what is the big deal. Or did they want him to just kill the bill. Wish these org would really tell us what they really want!

    March 22, 2010 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  7. terry,va.

    Stupak really didn't believe in a pro-life stance. If he did he is the biggest fool I've ever seen. The executive order Obummie supposedly signed isn't law. It can be done away with as easily as it was put on paper. The value of Stupak's paper agreement would be better if used as toilet paper.

    March 22, 2010 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  8. Steve in Denver

    What a bunch of pin heads. Stupack, as much as I disagree with holding up health care until he got what he wanted on abortion, did make a deal that made clear what was already in the bill.

    What is next? If Congress passes clean air legislation next week, but it doesn't outlaw abortions, anybody who votes for it is pro abortion?

    How narrow minded can people be about one issue?

    March 22, 2010 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  9. Michael

    wHO CARES.....................................

    March 22, 2010 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  10. Way to go

    Way to go! I support him all the way for standing up for what he believes and heard from his supporters. He will be rewarded with reelection in November.

    That group should be ashamed of themselves.

    March 22, 2010 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  11. Lance

    Thank the lord that we got it passed. This is gonna change all our lives for the better. We'll no longer by the laughing stock of the civilized world for the backward way we treat our sick and infirm. Stupak came through. Obama came through. We just may have a future afterall!

    March 22, 2010 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  12. Mike in MN

    Stupak caved to Obama lies. He put partisan politics over supposed personal convictions. He deserves a Judas award not one from an pro life organizations. I would guess he can start counting down the months to when his constituants will vote him out of office in November.

    March 22, 2010 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  13. Vic of New York

    Go suck on it. Maybe you should be confering with your Pedophile Bishop on what's moral and what's not.

    March 22, 2010 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  14. Marye

    He sold out, but he has to live with it.

    March 22, 2010 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  15. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Most pro-lifers buy health insurance from private corporations that use their premiums to pay for somebody else's abortion. And yet pro-lifers only ever criticize the government, while having no problem with paying their money for private industry to pay for abortions. They turn a completely blind eye towards private industry. I wouldn't have as much problem with their political stand if they applied the same criticism fairly to everyone, not just government. Hypocrites!

    March 22, 2010 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  16. Richard in California

    If Stupak had been honest from the very beginning and told the American public that the bill contained no federal dollars that would go towards the funding of abortions, he wouldn't look as pathetic as he does now. He tried to hijack the health care reform debate, and make it all about (false) outrage that Obamacare uses federal dollars to pay for abortions.

    Rep. Stupak, you didn't stand on your principle, you stood on the desire to get lots of TV face time. Congratulations, you succeeded in getting your wish. Unfortunately, your 15 minutes of fame are up. Exit Rep. Stupak, stage right.

    March 22, 2010 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  17. bobbiedee2

    Thank you to all who voted to pass the health care bill. God Bless You!
    You put the the needs of people ahead of your political career. There has been a lot of missinformation thesse past 13 months. It's got people scared and confused. Now more than ever we need representatives like you. To keep a cool head and get to the facts and know how to get what is needed done. THANK YOU! a sigh of relief.

    March 22, 2010 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  18. Jon Krieger

    Might as well change his last name to 'Stupid'!

    March 22, 2010 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  19. Proud American

    Stupak. I was not your biggest fan for a minute there, but I must say. I am proud of your stand for something you believed in, and I am proud that you also did not allow the Republicans to take an issue you felt strongly about it and score political points with it. I regret that someone called you that horrible name on the house of the floor, but you showed real heart and courage and stood up and showed what you were made of. Don't worry about the opposition. You will be rewarded both on earth, and in heaven. God Bless You.

    March 22, 2010 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  20. njemnu

    Bart Stupak, I'll be praying for you and God almighty will reward you for giving millions a shot at a better life. Not forgetting you made sure unborn babies lives are spared. You are the closest I have seen to a holistic pro-life politician. Stay firm; do not be moved by uninformed criticism and politicians who use the pro-life stance to disenfranchise millions.

    March 22, 2010 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  21. Jeanette

    Maybe I just don't follow the anti-abortion issue closely enough, but I fail to understand how the existing ban on federal funds for abortion AND the forthcoming executive order reinforcing this ban equates to this bill allowing for federally funded abortions. Did I miss something? And how can this group, for everything Stupak has done for its movement up to and including delaying this bill until anti-abortion language was added, deny rescind this award? Strange.

    March 22, 2010 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. Keith in Austin

    Michigan voters need to vote this hypocritical Benedict Arnold out of office ASAP. He sold his core values and soul to the Devil. He is the lowest of the low and what put his idiology higher than his (supposed) Faith and the people he represents! Shame Shame

    March 22, 2010 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  23. vette gal

    This pro life organization needs to go away. I totally resent anyone telling me what I can and cannot do with my body. If I want to have an abortion, that's up to me, not any organization including the government. If I want to smoke, drink soda or alcohol, it's up to me, not some do good organization.

    On the other hand, neither do I want the government to take taxpayer's money to pay for abortions. Thank you President Obama for the executive order taking the federally funded abortions out.

    March 22, 2010 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  24. Denise

    I am so over all of the discussion on federal funding of abortion. First of all, why can't I stipulate that my tax dollars won't be spent on the death penalty or on waging wars that end of killing hundreds of thousands of people? As long as the anti-choice people only focus on abortion and not on these other "anti-life" uses of money, their arguments are empty. Also, as horrible as I think most people agree it is, abortion is still legal in this country. The Republicans had the presidency, the House and the Senate for years, and yet abortion remained legal. They sure talk a lot and do very little for people who are so concerned about the issue! Finally, I guarantee you that if men could get pregnant, there wouldn't even be a debate– abortion would be legal. It's so easy to be black and white on the issue when your body is not part of the discussion.

    March 22, 2010 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  25. me

    I am so happy that he is proving that all politicians are not just trying to fit in. He exemplified integrity hid reasons for voting no were true too bad some people were just being difficult.

    March 22, 2010 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
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