In the midst of a federal district judge revealing a schedule for a multi-state challenge against the Democrats’ health care legislation passed in March, pro-life groups continue to monitor both the lawsuit and how tax payer funding could still fund abortion regardless of promises made from Capitol Hill in the Spring.
Congressman Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat who is retiring this year, remains adamant that the deal he made with President Barack Obama to keep tax payer funding out of abortions in the health care bill is still solid. Mr. Stupak led a number of self-proclaimed pro-life Democrats in the House during the health care debate to hold their votes for the bill until Mr. Obama struck a deal with Mr. Stupak and eventually signed an executive order stating current law would be enforced, so no federal funding would go towards abortions.
“The Democrats who are pro-life aren’t [disappointed]. The president has held up the executive order. The states that have tried to put near catastrophic coverage…abortion coverage were told they couldn’t do it,” said Mr. Stupak when I asked him about concerns from pro-life activists about the flaws in the health care legislation on abortion funding.
Back in July, LifeNews.com reported:
The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March.
It has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.
The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the sweeping health care legislation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.
“The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee.
Johnson told LifeNews.com: “This is just the first proof of the phoniness of President Obama’s assurances that federal funds would not subsidize abortion — but it will not be the last.”
“President Obama successfully opposed including language in the bill to prevent federal subsidies for abortions, and now the Administration is quietly advancing its abortion-expanding agenda through administrative decisions such as this, which they hope will escape broad public attention,” Johnson said.
The abortion funding comes despite language in the bill that some pro-abortion Democrats and Obama himself claimed would prevent abortion funding and despite a controversial executive order Obama signed supposedly stopping abortion funding.
The pro-life community strongly opposed the executive order and said Rep. Bart Stupak and other House Democrats who voted for the pro-abortion health care bill in exchange for it were selling out their pro-life principles. This first case of forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions under the new law appears to prove them right that the bill language and executive order were ineffective.
However, according to Mr. Stupak, when I asked about Pennsylvania, in particular, he said “Pennsylvania has amended theirs. They made it very clear that they are not doing it.”
In a previous post, following the healthcare vote, I interviewed Mr. Stupak about his reasoning for his voting in favor of the health care legislation. I pointed out he did not vote for Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthoods are in Mr. Stupak’s district. His response?
STUPAK: I don’t think I ever voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood does not do abortions…in my district. Planned Parenthood has a number of clinics in my district that provide health care for my people. Therefore, these clinics do quite well in my district, and I’m all for health care and extending it to everybody—access to health care, so that’s just another way. Also on Planned Parenthood , when they do it, there is a segregation of funds that go with it. It’s usually about four hundred million they tried to de-fund on Planned Parenthood. Maybe this time, I’ll look at it again if Pence brings it up. Maybe I’ll vote differently this time, but you’re right I did vote against it.
When I pointed out to the Michigan Congressman today that the Planned Parenthoods in his district may not perform abortions but do offer referral services to other Planned Parenthoods where abortion services are provided outside the district, he shot back “That’s not true.” Really? l Petoskey and Marquette Planned Parenthoods would say otherwise.
Listen to Rep. Stupak here.