Stupak on USCCBNRLC: 'The hypocrisy is great.'

Jon Ward of the Daily Caller has astunning interview with Bart Stupak:

The [National] Right to Life and the bishops, in 2007 when George Bush signed the executive order on embryonic stem cell research, they all applauded the executive order, Stupak said in an interview with The Daily Caller.

The Democratic Congress passed [a bill] saying well do embryonic stem cell research. Bush vetoed it in 2007. That same day he issued an executive order saying we will not do it, and all these groups applauded that he protected life, Stupak said.

So now President Obamas going to sign an executive order protecting life and everyones condemning it. The hypocrisy is great, he said.

What's more, Stupak wonders: were the Catholic bishops and other prolife groups were really interested in protecting the sanctity of life "or did they want to defeat health care?"

Stupak also reveals that Speaker Pelosi had enough votes to pass the bill without his coalition. According to Stupak, it wasn't until he and his prolife comrades were satisfied that Pelosi was able to release other more vulnerable Democrats to vote against the bill. A number of them came up and thanked me said, Thanks for getting us off the hook.(The Speaker says she never does that.)

While the USCCB and other prolife groups have claimed that President Obama's executive order won't prevent federal dollars from funding abortion, demanding changes in the bill itself, Stupak says, "You can't. [The executive order is] the next best thing." And it wasn't even Stupak's idea. It was Rahm Emanuel's.

He said, Will you take a sense of the House resolution? I said, No I dont like those.

What about executive order? Emanuel said.

I dont know about that. Let me see if I can research it more, Stupak said.

The first draft of an executive order that was described to him, Stupak said, didnt do the job.

So on Saturday, as Obama spoke to the House Democrats at the Capitol, Stupak was in his office, drafting the language himself, he said.

Finally, on Sunday, after Stupak and other prolife Democrats pow-wowed with Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Mike Doyle over brunch, the group went to the Hill to read the final draft of the executive order. As Jon Ward reports, Doyle was instrumental in brokering the agreement, urging Stupak to "talk it out.... Its easier if you can keep the dialogue going, you can usually reach a consensus. And Doyle never gave up on it."

Read the whole thing.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

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