10 Mar

Connie Saltonstall, Pro-Choice Candidate, Launches Primary Challenge Against Stupak

Michigan’s Stupak challenged for Democratic nomination


Connie Saltonstall of Charlevoix said today she plans to run against Stupak for the Democratic nomination of Michigan’s First Congressional District, citing Stupak’s efforts to stop health care reform if it doesn’t ban use of government money for abortions. Stupak, a former state trooper from Menominee, has held the seat since 1993.

This year and last, Stupak has made a name for himself as a thorn in the side of some congressional Democrats pushing legislation for health care reform. While largely supportive of those efforts, he successfully attached an amendment last fall to ban use of federal funds to help pay for abortions.

“I believe that he has a right to his personal, religious views, but to deprive his constituents of needed health care reform because of those views is reprehensible,” Saltonstall said in a statement.

A Catholic, Stupak authored an amendment that passed the House of Representatives in November that prohibited federal subsidies going to any plan participating on national insurance exchange that provided abortion coverage. Federal subsidies are seen as a way to help people without coverage through their employers get it at a competitive rate they can afford.

In the Senate, the provision was changed to allow for abortion coverage as long as it was paid for with funds contributed by the policyholder. Stupak has said that’s unacceptable because he believes the federal subsidies are still helping to pay for an insurance plan that covers abortion.

There are worries that Stupak and like-minded Democrats could ruin health care reform’s chances of passage.

Saltonstall, whose supporters are trying to collect the 1,000 signatures needed to put her name on the August primary ballot, said Stupak has let the district down.

Saltonstall, a former teacher who was also a Charlevoix County commissioner, lost a race for state representatives in 2008.

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