WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With pro-life U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) retiring from Congress, US. Rep. Dan Lipinski, a pro-life Democrat who opposed Stupak’s abortion compromise on the national health care reform law, will now step up and co-chair the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus alongside pro-life champion U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

“Protection of unborn children must be a legislative priority in the 112th Congress and I look forward to leading this bipartisan coalition of pro-life Members with Chris Smith as we continue our work to protect innocent human life,” said Lipinski.

Lipinski has been a longtime pro-life leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. He shot into the national spotlight when he refused to join Stupak and twelve other pro-life Democrats in exchanging their votes to pass the Affordable Care Act for an executive order from President Obama promising that no federal funds would be used to finance elective abortions.

Lipinski, one of the House’s few pro-life economic liberals, cast his vote against the Senate’s health care reform bill, because it did not have the Stupak-Pitts amendment that was included in the House bill.

Before the House’s vote on the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act, Lipinski said the bill “changes current federal policy and provides funding for abortion. This is not acceptable.”

He also added, “I do not believe the last minute effort to address these concerns through an Executive Order is sufficient because there is every indication that federal courts would strike down this order, and the order could be repealed at any time in the future.”

Lipinski is the prime cosponsor of critical pieces of legislation that the Pro-Life Caucus will push this year, including the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (HR 5939), the Patients First Act (H.R. 877), and the Protect Life Act (HR 5111).

“Dan Lipinski and I have—and will continue to—work hard together to provide needed protection for unborn children and their mothers,” said Smith, who has been the Republican Co-Chair of the Pro-life Caucus since 1982. “We have an aggressively pro- life legislative agenda for the new Congress which includes rolling back federal funding for abortion and the abortion industry starting with H.R. 5939 the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,’ which Dan and I introduced in August of 2010, and H.R. 5111, the ‘Protect Life Act,’ which Dan introduced with Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.).”

Smith has said that the midterm elections also had the added benefit of ushering in perhaps the strongest pro-life Congress ever. 

“The American people have spoken, and replaced 38 pro-abortion Members with pro-life Members and replaced 14 unreliable Members with reliable pro-life Representatives,” Smith said shortly after the November election. “Of the 93 Members of the Freshman Class at least 77 are committed to defending the unborn.”

Smith has fought for pro-life legislation in the House for almost 30 years, since his election in 1980, and has made pro-life cause a part of his dedication to protecting the human rights and dignity of those born and unborn, including victims of human trafficking. 

According to its mission statement, the Pro-life Caucus “is a bipartisan organization of House Members which provides information to Members of Congress on legislation and issues related to pro-life concerns. We understand that the taking of innocent human life must be stopped and that all persons–regardless of age, health, sex, race, stage of development or condition of dependence–must be guaranteed their full constitutional safe guards.”