Holy See Ambassador Voted for Planned Parenthood Funding, Gay Marriage Sen. Joe Donnelly arrives to speak at the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Nov. 6, 2018. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 15 April 2022 08:31 AM
Joe Donnelly, who is President Joe Biden's appointed ambassador to the Holy See, cast votes as a senator in favor of then-President Barack Obama's agenda that supported funding for Planned Parenthood, as well as for gay marriage, according to an examination of his legislative record.
Donnelly, who represented Indiana as a Democrat from 2013 to 2019, by voting for both measures, changed his stances on the issues over the years, reports Fox News.
For example, when Donnely was a representative for Indiana's 2nd Congressional District from 2007 to 2013, Donnelly cast votes against the funding of embryonic stem cell research, while opposing abortion funding that was part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) legislation in 2010.
He also changed his opinion on gay marriage in 2013, commenting at the time it was the "right thing to do," according to Politico.
"I voted to repeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ and was an original supporter of the bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their sexual orientation," he said at the time. "It is also for that reason that I oppose amending either Indiana’s or our nation’s constitution to enshrine in those documents an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ instead of a ‘we.’ With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all."
Further, when Donnelly voted for Obamacare, that meant he'd changed his position against allowing federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which among its services provides abortions.
National Right to Life reported, in documents about the approval of the healthcare funding, that Donnelly had a pro-life voting record of 28%.
The Holy See, under Pope Benedict XVI, vetoed three of Obama's appointed ambassadors over their views on abortion, including Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of late President John F. Kennedy.
Donnelly was confirmed as Biden's appointment to the ambassadorship in February, and this past Monday presented his credentials to Pope Francis, according to the Vatican.
The new ambassador said in a video that he hopes to deepen the United States' ties with the Holy See and said he and his family are proud to be Catholics.
"From my childhood, through my college and law school years at the University of Notre Dame, through years of public service in Indiana and Washington, D.C., the Catholic Church has been a core part of my life and my values," he said.