(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarques)
A national pro-life leader has surprisingly harsh words for a Republican congressman who recently publicly said he wants to introduce a pro-life bill that would restrict abortion access in the nation's capital.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), told The Christian Post that he believes Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) was attempting to "cover his backside" over recent votes he had taken.
"Amash's pro-life voting record is the seventh worst of all House Republicans. With such a record, he is unlikely to rally pro-life support to his new flag – a flag that seems designed mostly to cover his backside back home," said Johnson.
The office of Rep. Justin Amash did not return comment by press time.
Last week, Amash wrote on his Facebook page that he was planning to introduce a bill titled the "District of Columbia Respect for Life and Conscience Act of 2012."
According to the entry on his Facebook page, this bill "requires minors in D.C. to receive their parents' consent before having an abortion, prohibits non-doctors from performing abortions, and provides conscience protections for individuals and health care facilities in D.C. that refuse to perform abortions."
"It is the proper role of government to protect life, and it is unconscionable for government to sanction the taking of helpless and innocent life," wrote Amash on his Congressional website.
But Johnson called into question Amash's sincerity, remarking that "His (Amash's) announcement appears to be an attempt to deflect outrage, among his constituents, regarding his May 31 vote against the bill to prohibit performing an abortion merely because the unborn child is not of the sex desired by the parent."
Amash was one of seven Republicans in the House to vote against H. R. 3541, which if enacted would have banned abortions based on gender selection. In a statement, Amash reasoned that the bill criminalized a motive rather than the practice.
"I'm pro-life, and I think all abortion should be illegal. But Congress should not criminalize thought. And this bill won't stop a single abortion if it becomes law," wrote Amash. "Those of us who are pro-life should demand more from Congress. While we waste time on stuff like this, genuine legislation to protect life is ignored."
Amash's NRLC rating is 62 percent. By sharp contrast, 229 out of the 242 Republicans in the House have a 100 percent NRLC rating.
"To say it another way, of the 242 current House Republicans, Mr. Amash ranks number 236, or in the bottom 3 percent, with respect to his pro-life voting record," Johnson pointed out.
The recent bill noted on Amash's Facebook is not the first pro-life legislation he has worked on. In the past, he has co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the Protect Life Act. While running in 2010, Amash was endorsed by the Michigan Right to Life Committee, a chapter of the NRLC.
"The NRL endorsement will not be repeated, since his voting record has been abysmal – and this new posturing by Amash only adds insult to injury," said Johnson.
"I cannot speak for Right to Life of Michigan on this matter, but in view of Amash's votes against cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood and against the ban on sex-selection abortions, I would be astonished if he was again endorsed by that formidable state organization."