Extreme Pro-Abortion Governor Blagojevich Ousted, Banned Forever from IL Public Office
By Kathleen Gilbert
SPRINGFIELD, January 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Rod Blagojevich, a longtime opponent of the pro-life movement and now anathema to the Illinois political establishment, was tossed from the governorship and barred from holding public office in the state by two 59-0 state Senate votes yesterday.
Thus ended the political drama of the 52-year-old former governor, who continued to insist on his innocence in the face of damning evidence that he attempted to sell Barack Obama's senate seat
Former Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn was sworn in as the new governor moments after Blagojevich was ousted.
Upon hearing the Senate's verdict, Blagojevich told reporters, "I predicted it. The fix was in from the very beginning."
Few, however, sympathized with the disgraced former governor. "He failed the test of character. He is beneath the dignity of the state of Illinois. He is no longer worthy to be our governor," said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Republican from suburban Chicago.
Blagojevich, one of the most staunchly pro-abortion politicians in the U.S., earned a reputation while in office as an enemy of pro-life health providers' rights of conscience. In April 2005, Governor Blagojevich issued an executive order forcing all Illinois pharmacies to dispense the morning-after pill, saying that the “right of conscience does not apply to pharmacists.”
When several pieces of legislation erupted in the state legislature the following year to counteract the executive order, the governor responded that "if any of those bills reach my desk, they are dead on arrival." A U.S. court reined in the radical order two years later, affirming that the government could not force pro-life pharmacists to abandon their profession.
Also in 2006, he boasted of his "100 percent pro-choice" record, comparing himself favorably to the "advances and assaults" of the Bush administration's pro-life policies.
Months before the recent scandal broke, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other pro-abortion groups heaped praise on Blagojevich for voicing his opposition to Bush regulations protecting the right of doctors to conscientiously object to performing or referring for abortions. Ironically, Planned Parenthood lauded the governor for "not playing politics" with women's health.
News of Blagojevich's political scheming broke in early December when wiretapped conversations, acquired as part of an ongoing federal investigation into the governor and his associates, were made public. The conversations, some involving Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, revealed an apparent scheme to sell Mr. Obama's recently vacated Senate seat in addition to several other "pay to play" deals.
"I've got this thing and it's (expletive) golden, and I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I'm not gonna do it," Blagojevich was quoted as saying in one wiretapped conversation.
Mocking Blagojevich's words, Chicago Democrat Sen. James Meeks said during Senate proceedings: "We have this thing called impeachment and it's bleeping golden, and we've used it the right way."
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