Irony Alert: Bart Stupak nearly scuttled health care reform over his fear that federal dollars could be spent on abortions, even though the Hyde Amendment already makes that illegal to do so. No longer in Congress, Stupak has moved to a lobbying firm...with Planned Parenthood as a client.
Just hours after announcing his move to K Street, former Rep. Bart Stupak is already getting some attention for an existing client of his new firm.
The Michigan Democrat, who opposes abortion rights, is joining the law and lobbying firm Venable, which represents Planned Parenthood of Maryland. As a Member of the House, Stupak became a champion of the anti-abortion movement during last year’s debate over President Barack Obama’s signature health care overhaul. Stupak put the brakes on the overhaul with his amendment to bar federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, but he ultimately reached a deal on the issue with the White House.
Some in the anti-abortion community were quick to point out the Venable connection to Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions. House Republicans have sought to cut federal funding for the health care provider from a spending bill to fund the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year.
A Venable spokesman said that even if Stupak were to work for Planned Parenthood, it would be consistent with his Congressional voting record. Although Planned Parenthood does provide abortion services, much of its work focuses on women’s health, preventive care and birth control counseling.
With all due respect to the Venable spokesman, I think as a woman, I'd prefer to keep Stupak as far away as possible from Planned Parenthood. His inability to think that women deserve the right to control their own bodies kinda hurts his credibility.
Meanwhile, let's hear it for DC Mayor Vincent Gray and six DC Council-members who were arrested yesterday protesting the Congress' complete apathy to the district's lack of say or representation in the congressional rider prohibiting them from using local money to fund abortions.
Under the budget agreement reached Friday, the details of which are still uncertain, the city will likely be unable to spend city dollars on abortions for low-income women. It may also be banned from spending city money on needle exchange programs thought vital to curbing the spread of HIV in the city, where the disease is considered an epidemic. Also back: a school voucher program favored by Republicans.
Angry that Congress appears ready to take away autonomy granted to the city in the last several years, Mayor Vincent Gray and six Council members including the chairman were among 41 people arrested Monday outside the Capitol while protesting the changes that might be inevitable.