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Matt Birk refused White House trip because President Obama is pro-choice

Birk is Catholic and believes abortion is tantamount to "ending lives."
Birk is Catholic and believes abortion is tantamount to "ending lives."

Yesterday, the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens took the standard trip to the White House to meet, greet, and pose for a photo with President Obama.

SEE ALSO: Jesse Ventura says Obama is basically the black George W. Bush

But the starting center on that team -- St. Paul native and longtime Viking Matt Birk, who announced his retirement after the season -- refused to attend. The reason? A comment Obama made in support of Planned Parenthood during an April speech.

Here's what Obama said:

"As long as we've got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we've got to fight to protect a woman's right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you've also got a president who's going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way. Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you."

During an appearance on KFAN this morning, Birk said he has "great respect for the office of the presidency but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, 'God bless Planned Parenthood.'" (As Sean Olsen notes in this comment, some think Birk is actually misinterpreting Obama.)

"Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year," Birk continued. "I am Catholic, I am active in the pro-life movement, and I just felt like I couldn't deal with that. I couldn't endorse that in any way."

"For God to bless a place where they're ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend," he said.

Birk, of course, also generated ripples last fall when he emerged as the anti-Chris Kluwe and said, "Not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing."

It gets us thinking -- the MNGOP could sure use a fresh face to run against Al Franken or Mark Dayton next year, and as a Harvard graduate with lots of name recognition and deep local roots, Birk sure seems like a promising political prospect, doesn't he?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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