Congressman Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, told reporters Sunday: “Make no doubt about it. There will be no public funds for abortion,” as he attempted to explain why he chose to support the health care bill after striking a deal with the White House. Mr. Stupak and his cadre of self-proclaimed “pro-life” Democrats defended the Executive Order that Mr. Obama agreed to sign after the passage of the bill. Mr. Stupak believes the order reasserts the intentions of the Hyde Amendment, a provision that prohibits the federal funding of abortion.
I asked Mr. Stupak how he could possibly assure pro-life individuals that this flimsy solution to gain his favor on the bill will not be immediately rescinded after the legislation is passed. The Michigan Democrat responded, “The president didn’t sign it to rip it up tomorrow.”
Pro-life conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly points out that Mr. Stupak is naively trusting that the president will not immediately rescind the Executive Order. She writes:
“Perhaps Mr. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats forget that President Obama’s first Executive Order was the repeal of the Mexico City Policy to allow for international funding of abortion.
“Not only would an Executive Order be rendered meaningless in the face of Congress passing legislation, which actively provides for the massive expansion and funding of abortion services, but anyone who doubts the abortion tsunami which awaits this bill becoming law lives in a fantasy world.
“Barack Obama has lined every existing federal agency with the most dedicated pro-abortion ideologues, and we know that he will continue this pattern of pro-abortion appointments when it comes time for him to fill the over-100 bureaucracies created to administer his socialized health care program.”
The National Right to Life Committee excoriated the idea that an Executive Order would keep federal tax dollars from funding abortion:
“The order does nothing at all to mitigate the other abortion-related problems described in the NRLC letter, dealing with bill provisions that create dangerous regulatory mandate authorities, revise Indian health programs, and create pools of directly appropriated funds that are not covered by existing restrictions on funding of abortion. Nor can the order correct the omission from the pending legislation of the necessary conscience-protection language that had been included in House-passed health care legislation last November (the ‘Weldon language’).”
“According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding. That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year. The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation. “
Any alliances Mr. Stupak made among conservatives in the pro-life movement was shattered Sunday, as GOP pro-life congressmen responded to Mr. Stupak’s support of the health care bill. Congressman Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican said:
“You traded 30 years of pro-life law for a promise from the most pro-abortion president in history.”
Pro-choice advocates did not waste any time whatsoever to start pressuring Mr. Obama. Hotline reports:
“President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best,” NOW President Terry O’Neill wrote in a statement. “Contrary to language in the draft of the executive order and repeated assertions in the news, the Hyde Amendment is not settled law. … The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women, and we couldn’t disagree more.”