Monday, March 29, 2010

Albom and Stupak Mislead on Abortion and Health Care Reform

Mitch Albom’s March 28 column focused on Bart Stupak and his vote in favor of health care reform legislation which didn’t include his own prolife Stupak amendment. During the column, Albom continuously claims that Congressman Randy Neugebauer called Bart Stupak a “baby killer.” Albom never mentions that Neugebauer claims he didn’t call Stupak a “baby killer” but instead yelled out, “It’s a baby killer” while referring to the health care reform bill. Albom also never mentions that Neugebauer apologized to Stupak for yelling during Stupak’s speech and was sorry his “actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself.”

Albom’s column also allows Stupak to criticize prolife groups who are critical of Stupak’s change of position. Just weeks before the passage of health care reform, Stupak said the abortion language in the Senate’s version of the bill was “unacceptable” and was “a significant departure from current law.” Since then, the abortion language in health care reform legislation hasn’t changed. Stupak’s position has. Both prolife and pro-choice groups recognize that President Obama’s executive order can’t do anything to change the language of the law. Planned Parenthood’s President Cecile Richards called it “a symbolic gesture.”

Congressman Stupak voted for health care reform even though the legislation didn’t include his own amendment which he recognized was the only way to keep abortion funding out of health care reform. It’s incredibly disingenuous for him to now attack prolife organizations for holding the same position he held a few weeks ago.