In a revealing, hour-long interview with The Hill, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the leader of a group of pro-life Democrats who are refusing to vote for pro-abortion Obamacare, said the battle over the bill has made his life a “living hell”.
The steadfast lawmaker said the phone lines in both his Washington and district offices have been “jammed” and that he has received more than 1,500 faxes and thousands of e-mails, most of which are coming from those who are angry at him for his pro-life position.
The battle has even reached into his home where his wife has had to disconnect the phones to avoid being harassed. “All the phones are unplugged at our house — tired of the obscene calls and threats. She won’t watch TV,” Rep. Stupak told The Hill. “People saying they’re going to spit on you and all this. That’s just not fun.”
Rep. Stupak engineered the now famous Stupak Amendment that stripped all abortion funding out of the House version of health care reform. The Senate version lacks his restrictive language, which means he and about a dozen other lawmakers are refusing to vote yes should this bill come to the floor on Sunday as anticipated.
He admitted that he never imagined that the abortion issue would become so large in the debate over health care reform.
“I’m a little surprised,” Stupak said, then admitted that being a definite “no-vote” in today’s contentious environment on the Hill has been “like a living hell.”
Even though he has a long history of being able to work with Democratic leaders on the abortion issue, “This is the first time we’ve not been able to work it out,” he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already announced that there will be no change to the abortion language in the Senate bill, nor will restrictive language be written into the so-called “reconciliation” package which will contain “fixes” to the bill that must then pass the Senate on a simple majority vote of 51.
As for rumors that some of his pack of pro-life lawmakers are switching their votes, he still contends that he has a dozen members who remain committed to standing firm for life.
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