The National Catholic Review
Image

Representative Bart Stupak, a Catholic pro-life Democrat from Michigan and a central figure in the abortion debate surrounding the health care reform law, said on April 9 that he will retire from Congress at the end of his current term. “When I first ran for Congress in 1992, I campaigned on a pledge to make affordable quality health care a right, not a privilege, for all Americans,” he said at a press conference in Marquette, Mich., in his home district. “In March we finally accomplished what I set out to do 18 years ago,” he said. “I’m proud to have helped bring it across the finish line.” Stupak said angry callers who have criticized him for voting for health reform were not a factor in his decision to retire from the House. Last fall Stupak was the main sponsor of an amendment to the House reform plan meant to extend the original Hyde Amendment, which forbids federal funding of abortions. In March he led negotiations that resulted in an executive order by President Obama prohibiting federal funding of abortion in connection with the health care reform package that passed Congress and was signed into law.