Why Did Senator Ben Nelson Cave In to the Pro-Choice Pressure?

Ben_Nelson_official_photo I originally wrote this blog on December 19. At the time I first wrote Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska was refusing to support the senate version of health-care reform because of its openly pro-choice stance. I wrote, on December 19, that there are "very few politicians that I actually admire." Like many Americans I see so few of them who have genuine "integrity." Most are overly and overtly "ambitious." (See blogs from the past two days, December 21-22) Further, I think that very little is actually changed by politicians in the end. Both culture and community are changed much more by good and godly people, than by governments. If we lose our way as a nation it will not be because of what happens in Congress. We can survive some bad decisions by Congress, we cannot survive becoming a coarse and bad people.

I was reminded of this issue of integrity during the ongoing health care debate over the past few weeks. Most everyone knows by now that the lone hold-out among Democrats in the Senate was Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. The party leaders tried everything they knew to get his vote. Senator Lieberman (elected as an Independent) and Senator Nelson stood their ground against immense pressure for many weeks. But the pressure seems to have finally worked and a so-called compromise was reached on Saturday. The problem is that Senator Nelson now tells us that this compromise is acceptable and that his pro-life stance is resolute. The facts are clearly otherwise. He has to know this so I had to change my mind about Senator Nelson. Now I see him as lacking in courage and willing to sell his vote. (If you read what he got for his state in the "deal" it is downright disgusting!)

Why did Nelson stand so strongly against this bill in the first place? He said, before he changed his stance on Saturday: "Without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient." The second-term Nebraskan has opposed abortion and will consistently refused to surrender his integrity to any pressure regarding this moral issue. He wanted tighter restrictions written into any health care reform. The fierce attacks on Nelson began immediately. He stood strong for a long time. But when it was announced he was OK with the revisions I grew suspicious and began to dig into the story.

Make no mistake about this. The number one social priority of the Obama administration, and the leading Democrats in the Congress, is to pass health care during this term. Even though a new poll says 34% of Americans want the bill that is before the Senate we are now likely to get it anyway. There is much to like in all this reform effort and there is, as always, much to question, especially in terms of where the money would come from to pay for it and how the government would actually administer it. I have tried to follow this debate with an open mind. Health care is a mess and it really does need serious change. Almost everyone agrees. The nature of getting a bill passed is always one that involves compromise. But to compromise on a moral issue was supposed to not be an option for Ben Nelson. Think of this for a moment. His whole party opposed him, or at least all of it in the Senate. The party itself sold out to the pro-choice lobbies and abortion forces in the 1970s and will not change until courageous leaders, one of which I hoped would be Nelson, stand firm and seek to bring about change through educated opposition. We needed Democrats like Nelson. Sadly, I praised Nelson on December 19 but now I stand in utter and complete disappointment in the shameless way that he was pressured and then changed his mind.

When it comes to legally protecting unborn life there is no room for compromise if you believe the weakest among us are routinely killed. I will say it and realize in saying it that some will take offense: Any new legislation that makes it more likely, and thus more easy, to slaughter unborn children should be opposed by all who call Christ Lord. We should thank God for every legislator who stands for unborn life and let them know that we are praying for them to maintain integrity to the end. Some things are more important than health-care reform. This is one of them. I had hoped that Senator Nelson would have stood his ground. I do now know what pressure he actually faced but it had to be intense. Sadly, he gave in and the lives of many more of the unborn will now be lost because he did. I am not his judge but his compromise is all too obvious to those who are deeply pro-life.

Let me explain. I received an M. A. in 1973. The commencement address was given by Dr. C. Everett Koop. He told the graduates that they now became the first class to enter the "brave new world." He challenged us to stand out and stand up for life. I took the challenge and began to educate myself on this issue. I have not stopped and will not stop for the rest of my life. I am politically interested in a wide array of issues but no issue motivates me like this one. Why you may ask? Because no issue more underscores the basic moral direction of a people than life itself. If we refuse to stand for human life (in the womb and out) then we have taken a step toward the darkness. I know this offends some but it is simply the way I see it. I am called to be "light" in a dark world and this is the light God has given to me to carry. This is non-negotiable for me personally and I am amazed at how many Christians think otherwise. I do not condemn those who disagree with me but I oppose them on this point and will continue to do so. I do not think this is bigotry but faithfulness to truth and life in my time on the stage of human history.

If you question my general interpretation about Nelson or President Obama's actions then you should visit the very reliable pro-life news source on the Web: LifeNews.com. Life News will keep you informed. Sign up for their emails too.

Life News recently gave a summary of the Obama administration's track record on abortion. It is grim and it is very consistent. I do not judge his heart, no one can or should. I can judge his actions on life and I must. Here is the bleak record. He is plainly the most active pro-choice president we have ever elected regardless of what he says in his eloquently written comments about this issue in his books and sundry writings.

President-obama-thumb President Barack Obama's Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The following is a compilation of bill signings, speeches, appointments and other actions that President Barack Obama has engaged in that have promoted abortion before and during his presidency. While Obama has promised to reduce abortions and some of his supporters believe that will happen, this long list proves his onl
y agenda is promoting more a
bortions.

During the Election Season

Obama selected pro-abortion Sen. Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate.

Post-Election / Pre-Inauguration

November 5, 2008 – Obama selects pro-abortion Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel has a 0% pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life.

November 19, 2008 – Obama picks pro-abortion former Sen. Tom Daschle as his Health and Human Services Secretary. Daschle has a long pro-abortion voting record according to National Right to Life.

November 20, 2008 – Obama chooses former NARAL legal director Dawn Johnsen to serve as a member of his Department of Justice Review Team. Later, he finalizes her appointment as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Legal Counsel in the Obama administration.

November 24, 2008 – Obama appoints Ellen Moran, the former director of the pro-abortion group Emily's List as his White House communications director. Emily's List only supported candidates who favored taxpayer funded abortions and opposed a partial-birth abortion ban.

November 24, 2008 – Obama puts former Emily's List board member Melody Barnes in place as his director of the Domestic Policy Council.

November 30, 2008 – Obama named pro-abortion Sen. Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. Clinton has an unblemished pro-abortion voting record and has supported making unlimited abortions an international right.

December 10, 2008 – Obama selects pro-abortion former Clinton administration official Jeanne Lambrew to become the deputy director of the White House Office of Health Reform. Planned Parenthood is "excited" about the selection.

December 10, 2008 – Obama transition team publishes memo from dozens of pro-abortion groups listing their laundry list of pro-abortions actions they want him to take.

Pro-Abortion Presidential Record – 2009

January 5, 2009 – Obama picks pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as the chairman of the Democratic Party.

January 6, 2009 РObama chooses Thomas Perrelli, the lawyer who represented Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael in his efforts to kill his disabled wife, as the third highest attorney in the Justice Department.

January 22, 2009 – Releases statement restating support for Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions and has resulted in at least 50 million abortions since 1973.

January 23, 2009 – Forces taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. Decision to overturn Mexico City Policy sends part of $457 million to pro-abortion organizations.

January 26, 2009 – Obama nominee for Deputy Secretary of State, James B. Steinberg, tells members of the Senate that taxpayers should be forced to fund abortions. Nominee erroneously says limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional.

January 29, 2009 – President Obama nominates pro-abortion David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General.

February 12, 2009 – Obama nominates pro-abortion Elena Kagan to serve as Solicitor General.

February 27, 2009 – Starts the process of overturning pro-life conscience protections President Bush put in place to make sure medical staff and centers are not forced to do abortions.

February 28, 2009 – Barack Obama nominates pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.

March 5, 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, made the invitation list as did other pro-abortion groups.

March 9, 2009 – President Barack Obama signed an executive order forcing taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.

March 10, 2009 – Obama announces the creation of a new foreign policy position to focus on women's issues. He names Melanne Verveer, an abortion advocate, to occupy the post.

March 10, 2009 – Reverses an executive order to press for more research into ways of obtaining embryonic stem cells without harming human life. The order Obama scrapped would have promoted new forms of stem cell research.

March 11, 2009 – Obama signed an executive order establishing a new agency within his administration known as the White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama's director of public liaison at the White House, Tina Tchen, an abortion advocate, became director of it.

March 11, 2009 – Obama administration promotes an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nations meeting.

March 11, 2009 – Obama administration officials deny negative effects of abortion at United Nation's meeting.

March 17, 2009 – President Barack Obama makes his first judicial appointment and names pro-abortion federal Judge David Hamilton to serve on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

March 26 – President Obama announced $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.

April 7 – The Vatican has rejected three Obama ambassador nominees because of their positions in favor of abortions.

April 7 – Obama has named pro-abortion law professor Harold Hongju Koh as the top lawyer for the State Department.

April 7 – Put more abortion advocates on his White House advisory council for faith-based issues.

April 8 – Obama nominee for assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, Ron Weich, is pro-abortion.

April 14 – Obama administration releases document that claims pro-life people may engage in violence or extremism.

April 17 – Obama administration releases the proposed guidelines that implement his decision to allow taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

April 23 – Refused to appeal a ruling requiring the FDA to allow 17-year-old girls to purchase the morning after pill without either a doctor visit or parental involvement beforehand.

April 27 – Obama's women's ambassador Melanne Verveer touted Obama's decision to send $50 million to the United Nation's Population Fund.

May 5 – Details emerge about a terrorism dictionary the administration of President Barack Obama put together in March. The Domestic Extremism Lexicon calls pro-life advocates violent and claims they employ racist overtones in engaging in criminal actions.

May 8 – President Obama releases a new budget that allows the Legal Services Corporation to use tax dollars to pay for pro-abortion litigation.

May 8 – President Obama's new budget calls for taxpayer funded abortions in the nation's capital.

May 8 – President Obama's budget eliminates all federal funding for abstinence-only education.

May 15 – Appointed pro-abortion New York City health commissioner Thomas Frieden as head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

May 17 – During his commencement speech at Notre Dame, Obama deceived listeners into thinking he wants a conscience clause, promoted embryonic stem cell research and misstated his pro-abortion record.

May 26 – Appoints appeals court judge Sonia Sonotmayor as a Supreme Court nominee. Sotomayor agrees that the courts should make policy, such as the Roe v. Wade case. Sotomayor is later opposed by pro-life groups and supported by pro-abortion groups and those who know her say she will support abortion on the high court.

July 2- Calls for an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nation's meeting.

July 7- The Obama administration admits it ignored the maj

ority of Americans who opposed the proposed guidelines that would implement Obama's decision to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.

July 14 – Obama science czar nominee John Holdren is revealed to have written before that he favors forced abortions.

July 30 – Awards several pro-abortion activists with the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

July 31 – Tells the National Institutes of Health to adopt rules that allow embryonic stem cell research.

August 4 – Information becomes public that Ezekiel Emanuel, an Obama advisor at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, supports rationing health care for disabled Americans that could lead to euthanasia.

August 6 – Obama criticized for asking for people to "snitch" on groups and people who oppose the pro-abortion health care bills in Congress.

August 13 – Obama wrongly said a senator backed the pro-euthanasia components of the health care bill.

August 23 – Said pro-life advocates were making "phony claims" about the health care bills. Also said the claims were false.

August 24 – Releases veterans guide promoting euthanasia.

September 13 – Misleads on the federal conscience clause in a health care speech and misleads on abortion funding.

September 13 – Obama waits two days to comment on shooting of pro-life advocate whereas he commented immediately on shooting of abortion practitioner.

September 15 – Senate confirms Obama's new regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who is pro-abortion.

October 5 – Selected pro-abortion lawyer and Georgetown University law professor Chai Feldblum for the EEOC.

October 5 – Announces he will give the keynote speech for pro-abortion group Human Rights Campaign.

October 19 – Obama's serve.gov web site promotes the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

October 21 – Obama administration web site promotes pro-abortion health care bills.

November 6 – Endorsed the House version of the health care bill that, at the time, contained massive abortion funding, rationing and assisted suicide promotion.

November 26 – Copies Thanksgiving proclamation of President Bush but leaves out pro-life message.

December 2 – Authorized taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research that kills days-old unborn children.

December 3 – A pro-abortion Obama judicial pick, Louis Butler, is approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

December 7 – Announces his endorsement of the pro-abortion Senate health care bill.

December 16 – Obama administration forces Americans a second time to spend millions more on embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life.

December 17 – Signed a bill that overturned the 13-year-long ban on funding abortions with tax dollars in the nation's capital.

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