Expecting heroism from politicians is rather like expecting chastity from prostitutes: you are almost certain to be disappointed. Therefore when a politician signs his own political death warrant on a matter of principle, attention should be paid.
Representative Anh “Joseph” Quang Cao is the Congressman representing the second congressional district of Louisiana. His district is in New Orleans and is overwhelmingly Democrat in voter composition. He is there by virtue of defeating the unbelievably corrupt former Congressman William “Cold Cash” Jefferson.
When ObamaCare came up in the House he was the lone Republican to vote for it. Now he is a no vote. Lifesite News explains why:
He said he could only vote for the bill if the abortion funding were removed, which Democrats have refused to do.
He said he has been flooded with calls and emails but will vote his conscience.
“We have people knocking at our doors, we have groups coming in, lobbying,” he said. “It comes down to me and my own conscience and that’s what I have to deal with.”
“We do need some kind of health care reform to assist many people in the district,” he said. “But again, my decision to support the health care bill cannot contradict my conscience.”
Obama on Wednesday met with Cao and asked him to take a new look at the abortion language in the bill — something Cao promised he would do.
“He’s asked if I would restudy the Senate language and that I would approach it with an open mind. And I promised that I would go back and study the Senate language again,” Cao said, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune.
“He fully understands where I stand on abortion, and he doesn’t want me to vote against my conscience because he, like me, believes that if we were to vote against our conscience, our moral values, there is really nothing left for us to defend,” Cao said. “I’m glad that the president is very understanding. He really shows his own moral character.”
“He did not whip me on the vote,” he said.
Where Cao stands is firmly against abortion funding — which is clearly a part of the Senate health care bill.
Cao was trained as a Catholic priest and has a role as an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, he holds a strong pro-life position and once said he would rather save his soul than ever vote for a bill that promotes abortion.
“At the end of the day if the health care reform bill does not have strong language prohibiting the use of federal funding for abortion, then the bill is really a no-go for me,” Cao told the New Orleans Times Picayune back in August.
“Being a Jesuit, I very much adhere to the notion of social justice,” Cao said.
“I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives,” he told the New Orleans paper at the time.
Cao told the newspaper his decision doesn’t depend on the Catholic bishops, who oppose the bill, or the Catholic Health Association, which supports it.
“At the end of the day, it’s me facing my own conscience,” he said.
“I was a moral philosophy professor. I taught the issue for many years. I fully understand the moral issue,” he said. “I do believe that we need health care reform, that we need to address the issues of pre-existing conditions, of accessibility and affordability in health care. At the same time, I am holding onto the principle that we should not kill the unborn.”
In a just world a man like Cao who is willing to be politically defeated for the sake of the unborn would reap a huge reward for such a stance. In our very imperfect world he will probably reap only a landslide defeat in the fall. However, some of us notice and salute him. Representative Cao, you are a hero in my eyes.