Tennessee Democrat first voted for ban, then againstNASHVILLE, Tenn.
-- A statewide family values group Friday blasted Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., for casting the deciding vote late Thursday to kill an amendment to the U.S. House of Representatives' health care reform legislation that would have prohibited the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions
Ron Shank, Savannah, director of the Family Policy Network of Tennessee
said Gordon "betrayed every Tennessean who believes prenatal children have an inalienable Right to Life, and he added insult to injury by casting the deciding vote to force us to pay for abortions, including horrific late-term abortions that brutally terminate those children's lives."
"We hope every pro-life Tennessean will join us in demanding that Congressman Gordon tell us which pro-abortion group or lobbyist threatened him, cut a deal, or promised him a campaign contribution sufficient to change his vote from opposing taxpayer-funded abortions to supporting them," Shank said. "We hope every Tennessean will join us in urging Gordon to vote against Nancy Pelosi's trillion-dollar socialized medicine, rationed healthcare, and abortion-funding scheme altogether."
Shank pointed to official House Energy and Commerce Committee records available online, which indicate that Gordon was one of eight committee Democrats who earlier Thursday evening had joined all 23 committee Republicans in voting in favor of the pro-life amendment when it was initially approved by a vote of 31 to 27
Committee records indicate that two hours later, however, Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Ca., used a parliamentary maneuver to bring the pro-life amendment back up for reconsideration. This time, it failed by a vote of 30 to 29
, with Gordon flip-flopping to cast the deciding vote against the amendment.
The Associated Press reported late Thursday night
regarding Gordon's flip-flop:
There was late-night drama in Waxman's committee as an anti-abortion amendment passed when conservative Democrats joined Republicans to support it -- then failed less than two hours later when Waxman used a procedural maneuver to bring it up for a second vote. In the intervening time, one conservative Democrat -- Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee -- changed his vote from 'yes' to 'no.' And a second conservative Democrat who hadn't voted the first time -- Rep. Zack Space of Ohio -- voted 'no.' It was enough to take the amendment down on a vote of 29 to 30. The measure would have specified that health care legislation moving through Congress may not impose requirements for coverage of abortion, except in limited cases.