We acknowledge that Mr. Upton has voted pro-life on a number of significant issues, including curbs on direct federal funding of abortion. Moreover, in recent weeks he has stated his intent to actively move certain pieces of key pro-life legislation. But these statements do not greatly comfort us, in light of the 24-year record summarized above. If, however, the Health Subcommittee were to be chaired by a Member with a long history of bold leadership on pro-life issues, our objections to a prospective Upton chairmanship would be greatly mitigated. Most senior Republicans on the subcommittee have good voting records, but there is one who has made the protection of the sanctity of innocent human life the cornerstone of his service in the House, and that is Congressman Joe Pitts, the chairman of the Values Action Team.
In conclusion: Because Mr. Upton’s record demonstrates a disagreement with pro-life policies on multiple critical issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the Energy and Commerce Committee, we urge you to withhold support for his ascension to the chairmanship, unless and until there is assurance that the Health Subcommittee will be chaired by Mr. Pitts, and unless all of the Republican vacancies on the committee will be filled by Members who are firmly committed to pro-life positions.
Douglas Johnson Legislative Director
Correction: This article originally stated that the NRLC wanted Pitts to be chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. In fact, the NRLC wants Pitts to be in charge of the subcommittee on health. To clarify, the NRLC does not object to contraception funding, but simply to funding groups that perform and/or promote abortion.