For the first of the 14 times that Fred Upton has run for Congress, he has been endorsed by Michigan Right to Life. Just two years ago, in 2010, MRTL endorsed former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk. They also endorsed Dale Shugars over Upton in 2002.
Upton has claimed to be pro-life in the past, but has not filled out their survey. So why didn't MRTL endorse Upton before? Well, there are these votes, whose descriptions come from the American Conservative Union.
1987: Abortion- Vote on a Dornan (R-CA) amendment to prevent the use of any funds in the D.C. appropriations bill to pay for abortions in the District of Columbia. Passed 191-l81, 6/26/87. ACU supported the amendment.
1988: Abortion - Vote on a Dornan (R-CA) amendment to prohibit the use of any funds in the District of Columbia Appropriations Bill to perform abortions. Passed 222-186, 6/28/88. ACU supported the amendment.
1989: Abortion - Vote on a Dornan (R-CA) amendment to the Fiscal Year 1990 District of Columbia Appropriations Act to prohibit the use of any funds - federal or city - to pay for abortions, except in instances when the mothers life is in danger. Amendment rejected 206-219, 8/2/89. ACU supported the amendment.
1991: United Nations Population Fund - Vote on a Kostmayer (D-PA) amendment to preserve the $20 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which promotes abortions including the forced abortion program in communist China. Amendment adopted 234-188, 6/12/91. ACU opposed the amendment.
1993: Parental Notification - Vote on a Bliley amendment to mandate written parental notification and a 48-hour waiting period, with certain restrictions, before abortions could be performed on minors by entities receiving federal funds. Vote failed 179-243, 3/25/93. ACU supported the amendment.
1995: MEXICO CITY ABORTION POLICY. Smith amendment to codify the Mexico City policy, which prohibits U.S. funding of any public or private foreign entity that directly or indirectly performs abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is endangered; to require foreign organizations receiving U.S. aid to certify that they do not violate or lobby to change abortion laws; and to withhold money from the U.N. Population Fund unless the president certifies that the fund has terminated all activities in China or that for the past 12 months there have been no coercive abortions in China. Approved 243 187, June 28, 1995. ACU supported the amendment.
1995: FEDERAL FUNDING OF ABORTION. Greenwood amendment to provide $193 million for "family planning" projects under Title X of the Public Health Service Act, the bulk of which would be distributed to Planned Parenthood. Approved 224 204, August 2, 1995. ACU opposed the amendment.
1995: LATE TERM ABORTIONS. Adoption of the Rule to provide for House floor consideration of the bill to ban partial birth abortions, in which the person performing the abortion partially delivers the fetus before performing the abortion. Approved 288 139, November 1, 1995. ACU supported the bill.
2001: Family Planning Funding HR 1646 (Roll Call Vote No. 115 )
Hyde (R-IL) amendment to the State Department Bill maintaining President George W. Bush's restrictions on funding for international family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy. The bill was passed (218-210). ACU supported this bill.
2005: Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Passage. HR 810 (Roll Call 204)
The House passed a bill that would allow the use of federal funds in research on embryonic stem cell lines derived from surplus embryos at in-vitro fertilization clinics, but only if donors give their consent and are not paid for the embryos. ACU opposed the bill, which passed 238-194 on May 24, 2005.
2006: Embryonic Stem Cell Research
HR 810 (Roll Call 388) The House failed to override President Bush’s veto of legislation providing taxpayer funds for embryonic stem cell research. ACU opposed the effort to override the President’s veto, which failed on a vote of 235-193 on July 19, 2006. Although a majority of the House voted to override, a two-thirds vote is required to override presidential vetoes.
2007: Stem Cell Research
HR 3 (Roll Call 20). The House passed a bill mandating federal funding of embryonic stem cells derived from surplus embryos at fertilization clinics. ACU opposed this bill, which passed 253-174 on January 11, 2007.
2007: Planned Parenthood Support
HR 3043 (Roll Call 684). The House defeated an amendment to the Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill that would have withheld taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood. ACU supported this amendment, which failed July 19, 2007 by a vote of 189-231.
2009: Planned Parenthood. HR 3293 (Roll Call 643). The House defeated an amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill that would have eliminated funding for Planned Parenthood family planning services, which includes abortion services. ACU has always opposed Planned Parenthood and federal involvement in this area as unconstitutional, but the amendment was defeated July 24, 2009 by a vote of 183-247.
That's fourteen major pro-abortion votes. And that's just the ones picked by ACU to score. Upton can't even claim the position taken by many libertarians that abortion should be unaffected by the state, since he has repeatedly voted for federal government funding for programs and organizations that perform abortions. This funding is also unconstitutional, in case anyone cares.
Now, an endorsement of Upton could still be justified IF Upton has publicly renounced and apologized for his pro-abortion votes and vowed to vote the opposite way in the future. He has not done so.
So what changed? Certainly not his opponent, Jack Hoogendyk, who is just as pro-life as ever. Jack has been endorsed by MRTL in all his previous races. He ran a crisis pregnancy center and he and his wife have worked for pro-life organizations.
The only thing that changed is that Upton became chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I can only presume that either Upton promised votes on legislation that MRTL cares about, or that they were concerned that he would spike that legislation if they didn't endorse him.
Michigan Right to Life should be ashamed.