March 22nd, 2010
03:09 AM ET
5 years ago

'Baby killer' shouted at Democrat after bill's passage

(CNN) - Someone shouted "baby killer" Sunday as an anti-abortion Democratic congressman was speaking on the House floor shortly after the chamber passed a sweeping health care reform bill with his help.

It wasn't clear from whom the shout came.

Rep. Bart Stupak, who opposed the bill over its abortion language until he reached a deal with the White House on Sunday, was speaking against a Republican motion to effectively kill the passed legislation Sunday night when several congressmen shouted him down.

As the speaker asked for the interruptions to stop, someone yelled "baby killer."

Congressmen groaned, and someone shouted, "Who said that?"

Just days earlier, Stupak, D-Michigan, was a hero of anti-abortion House Republicans who opposed the health-care bill. Stupak led a group of other anti-abortion Democrats who rejected the bill because they said it would allow federal funding for abortions beyond the current limits of cases of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger.

The objection threatened to scuttle the bill's chances in the House. But on Sunday, Obama struck a deal with the anti-abortion Democrats, saying he would issue an executive order to ensure that existing limits on federal funding of abortion remain in place.

That won the support of the anti-abortion Democrats, and the bill passed Sunday night on a 219-213 vote.

After the bill passed, Republicans introduced a motion that sought to send the bill back to committee and amend its abortion language, language that Stupak originally wanted. Stupak spoke against the motion, leading to the shouts from some Republicans.

The motion did not pass.

The "baby killer" outburst came about six months after Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, yelled "you lie" to Obama during the president's speech to Congress. The House passed a resolution that month admonishing Wilson.

– CNN's Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.


Filed under: Bart Stupak • Health care • House
March 21st, 2010
11:53 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Stupak award rescinded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 • Extra • Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama
March 21st, 2010
04:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Democrats reach abortion deal on health care bill


Washington (CNN) - Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, a leader of House Democrats opposed to abortion rights, announced Sunday that he had reached a deal with the White House that will allow him to back the health care reform bill.

He also said the deal will give Democratic leaders more than enough votes to pass the bill.

"We're well past" the 216 votes needed for passage, Stupak said. "This bill is going to go through."

President Barack Obama will issue an executive order "after the passage of the health insurance reform law that will reaffirm its consistency with long-standing restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a written statement.

"While the legislation as written maintains current law, the executive order provides additional safeguards to ensure that the status quo is upheld and enforced, and that the health care legislation's restrictions against the public funding of abortions cannot be circumvented."

Related: Read the entire order

FULL POST


Filed under: Abortion • Bart Stupak • Democrats • Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama
March 18th, 2010
11:14 PM ET
March 10th, 2010
08:58 PM ET
5 years ago

Stupak facing primary challenger over abortion funding

Rep. Bart Stupak will have a primary challenger as the November midterms approach.
Rep. Bart Stupak will have a primary challenger as the November midterms approach.

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Bart Stupak, the pro-life Democrat from Michigan who has made legislative language over abortion funding a flashpoint in the debate over health care reform, is now facing a primary challenger from the left. Connie Saltonstall, a former Charlevoix County commissioner and retired businesswoman from Charlevoix, Mich. who announced her primary challenge Tuesday.

"The main issue is he was willing to sacrifice health care reform because of abortion funding," Saltonstall told CNN. "He's been my congressman for many years. I have compromised voting for him because of his position on choice. Health care and choice are two issues I am especially concerned about."

Saltonstall also says she will continue her campaign regardless of the final abortion language in the health care bill, or Stupak's vote.

"The people in our district lost trust in him. At dinners, he did powerpoint presentations on health care telling us he was going to introduce amendments, but telling us he would support health care regardless of the amendment. But then when the amendment passed, at his press conference he stated if his amendment language was not included, he would take the bill down. He has continued to say he would not vote for the health care bill unless his language was put in," she explained.

FULL POST


Filed under: Bart Stupak • Michigan
March 9th, 2010
11:02 AM ET
5 years ago

Anti-abortion Democrats targeted in new campaign

Rep. Marcy Kaptur is one of eight Democrats being targeted by the SBA List.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur is one of eight Democrats being targeted by the SBA List.

Washington (CNN) – An anti-abortion rights organization is pledging to spend $500,000 to pressure eight Democrats to stand their ground and oppose any kind of federal funding for abortion in health care reform legislation.

The Susan B. Anthony List announced that it's spending $115,000 on radio ads this week targeting four House Democrats - Reps. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, John Boccieri of Ohio, Steve Driehaus of Ohio and Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania - as the "kick off" of its campaign.

The SBA List, a national political organization based in the Washington, D.C. area, said in a statement that Reps. Baron Hill of Indiana, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Charlie Wilson of Ohio and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania are the four other Democrats it will seek to exert pressure on.

The eight Democrats voted late last year in favor of an amendment offered by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, that would put in place restrictions on federal funding for abortions in the House-passed health care bill.

FULL POST


Filed under: Abortion • Bart Stupak • Health care
March 4th, 2010
10:13 AM ET
5 years ago

Stupak prepared to vote no on health care

Rep. Bart Stupak said Thursday he will vote no on health care reform if abortion language is not altered.
Rep. Bart Stupak said Thursday he will vote no on health care reform if abortion language is not altered.

Washington (CNN) - Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak says he will bring down the final health care bill if abortion language isn't modified.

In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Stupak said he wants to see health care reform pass, but that some of the provisions in the Senate bill are unacceptable.

"The bill that they are using as the vehicle is the Senate bill. If you go to page 2069 through page 2078, you would find in there the federal government would directly subsidize abortions ... We're not going to vote for this bill with that kind of language in there."

The House narrowly passed its version of health care reform only after Stupak's abortion language was adopted.

When asked if he was willing to live with the consequences of bringing down the bill, Stupak said, "Yes, we're prepared to take responsibility. I mean, I've been catching it ever since last fall. I mean let's face it, I want to see health care. But we're not going to bypass some principles and beliefs that we feel strongly about."

FULL POST


Filed under: Bart Stupak • Health care • Popular Posts
February 23rd, 2010
10:57 AM ET
5 years ago

Stupak not happy with Obama's health care proposal

Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak is unhappy with President Obama’s health care proposal.
Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak is unhappy with President Obama’s health care proposal.

(CNN) - As House Democrats worry about complaints from the left over President Obama's health care plan, Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak is sternly reminding the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi that abortion remains an unresolved, red hot issue on the right.

"Unfortunately, the president's proposal encompasses the Senate language allowing public funding of abortion," Stupak wrote in a statement released Tuesday morning.

He was unequivocal in the next line, saying, "The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable."

The House narrowly adopted its health care bill only after including Stupak's more conservative language on abortion funding. Some 64 Democrats voted for the Stupak amendment in a separate vote.

Stupak would block health care subsidies not only from directly funding abortions but also from supporting an individual to buy an insurance plan that covers abortion. The Senate and the president would also ban direct funding of abortions but would require insurers to wall off or separate the costs of abortions so that subsidized patients must pay for those with their own personal funds.

There is extensive debate over which measure best complies with current law limiting federal abortion funding and whether the Senate version does or does not allow public funding of abortion.

Follow Lisa Desjardins on Twitter: @LisaDCNN


Filed under: Bart Stupak • Health care • President Obama
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