Washington (CNN) – A social conservative organization announced Thursday that it's launching a radio ad campaign targeting Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak and 19 other House Democrats who oppose abortion but voted in favor of the recently passed health care legislation.
The ads, paid for by FRC Action PAC, contend that the legislation does not maintain a longstanding federal policy against funding abortion.
Stupak led a coalition of anti-abortion rights Democrats, who initially withheld support for the legislation over the abortion issue.
As the bill approached a final vote in the House, Stupak announced that he had reached an agreement with the White House. In exchange for the Stupak coalition's support, President Obama issued an executive order stating that passage of the health care bill did not change the federal prohibition on funding of abortions. Many Republicans and social conservatives argue, however, that Obama's order does not do enough and that the Democratic health care bill contains avenues for abortion funding.
(CNN) - The Tea Party Express is predicting large crowds for its five events Thursday and Friday aimed at unseating Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan. The five events are being held in the Democratic congressman's large and rural district, which includes the entire upper peninsula of Michigan.
The rallies come as sources tell CNN that the top two House Democrats called Stupak to urge him to stay in Congress. A Stupak spokeswoman didn't confirm nor deny rumors that Stupak is considering retiring from Congress.
"Every two years, Congressman Stupak discusses with his family and his constituents whether to seek reelection. He believes that is what the people of the First District of Michigan deserve," said Stupak spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche.
Begnoche does tell CNN that Stupak's campaign plans are underway, and has already gathered the 1,000 signatures needed to formally file for re-election by Michigan's deadline, May 11th.
Three Democratic sources tell CNN that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have both called Stupak to urge him to stay in Congress.
(CNN) - Is Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak considering retiring? A statement from his spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche neither confirms, nor denies that.
"Every two years, Congressman Stupak discusses with his family and his constituents whether to seek reelection. He believes that is what the people of the First District of Michigan deserve," said Begnoche.
However, she also says Stupak's campaign plans are underway, and has already gathered the one thousand signatures needed to formally file for re-election by Michigan's deadline, May 11th.
And, despite the rumors and cryptic statement, several Michigan Democrats who know Stupak tell CNN they do not think he will retire.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who brokered an abortion deal with the White House to help secure passage of the landmark health care reform bill, predicted Friday that the heated rhetoric about the legislation will die down once Americans take the time to inspect the details.
Stupak told CNN's John King that he welcomes a healthy debate about the bill. But, he said "let's cut out the vitriol, the shrillness, the threats of violence against members and their families. We don't need that."
Watch the full interview Friday on CNN's "John King USA" at 7 p.m. ET
He said his critics on the right, who accused him of caving to abortion rights supporters in his party, are trying to politicize the abortion issue.
"Those who stood with me on this issue, our goal was, again, protect the principle, the sanctity of life, but also pass health care," he said. "And those Tea Party folks know that."
(CNN) - Inside the Washington beltway, Rep. Bart Stupak is taking heat from the left and right.
Three days after a major anti-abortion group took back its "Defender of Life" award from the Michigan Democrat over his support for the health care bill, the nation's leading abortion rights groups announced Wednesday that it is backing Stupak's primary election challenger because Stupak helped delay the legislation for months.
Abortion rights groups blame Stupak for holding up the health care bill, which President Obama signed Tuesday, over objections to its abortion provisions. Abortion foes said Stupak betrayed them by ultimately signing on to the bill.
Michigan Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak and other 12 other House Democrats joined President Obama Wednesday for the signing of an executive order about abortion funding.
(Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House Photo)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed an executive order Wednesday ensuring that existing limits on the federal funding of abortion remain in place under the new health care reform law.
Read: Obama's executive order
Unlike the signing of the health care bill Tuesday - which was conducted under the glare of television cameras - Wednesday's event was closed to the news media.
It was attended by Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan and 12 other House Democrats opposed to abortion rights, without whose help the landmark overhaul bill would not have passed, political observers say.
The White House has said the executive order reaffirms abortion funding restrictions first enacted in 1977.
Washington (CNN) – A Texas Republican acknowledged on Monday that he was the person who yelled "baby killer" during Sunday's House debate on health care reform.
Rep. Randy Neugebauer said he shouted out "'it's a baby killer' in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership" on compromise language that emphasized federal funds would not be used to pay for abortions.
Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak was on the House floor talking about the issue at the time of Neugebauer's outburst. Stupak was the leader of a group of anti-abortion rights Democrats who refused to back health care reform unless their concerns were addressed.
In a statement released by his office, Neugerbauer said that his comments have been misconstrued.
Washington (CNN) - The abortion issue nearly derailed House Democrats from passing the landmark health care reform bill Sunday night.
Political observers note that if it weren't for anti-abortion Democrats switching their votes to yes - after working with President Obama and House Democrats - the reform bill wouldn't have passed. It was adopted in a narrow 219-212 vote.
Obama threw the group a lifeline in an effort to make sure he had their votes, announcing he would issue an executive order to ensure that existing limits on federal funding of abortion remain in place.
The controversial issue provided an electrifying debate on the House floor as Republicans and Democrats clashed over the deal.
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.
Rep. Bart Stupak held a press conference Sunday afternoon to announce that he, and a small alliance of anti-abortion Democrats, had reached an agreement with the White House on abortion language that would allow the group to vote in favor of the health care bill. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)