When the Susan B. Anthony List held its annual Campaign for Life gala Wednesday night, it did so without Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich.
The pro-life group had planned to present Stupak with its "Defender of Life" award for his strong stance on abortion funding in the health care bill.
However, because of his last-minute decision to vote for the bill in exchange for an executive order barring the use of federal funds for abortions, the pro-life group decided to strip him of the honor.
According to the foundation's president Marjorie Dannenfelser, Stupak had "not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country."
"It was a total surprise and I really, really didn't believe that he would do it," she told The New York Times, adding that she took no pleasure in rescinding the award.
On Tuesday, Stupak defended his decision saying that suggestions by some Republicans and bloggers that he sold his vote for federal grants was "absurd."
"My vote on health care had nothing to do with airport grants and everything to do with providing access to affordable quality health care to the American people," Stupak said in a press release. "I have said from the start that my goal was to see health care pass while maintaining the principle of the sanctity of life."
Meanwhile, the Susan B. Anthony Foundation is not the only pro-life group displeased with the congressman's decision. Stupak's invitation to speak at next month's Illinois Catholic Prayer Breakfast has been withdrawn.
The event's president Michael Sullivan, called Stupak's justification for his support of the bill "the course of Judas."
"He turned his back on the life of the unborn," Sullivan said.