Update: Praise Stupak Now

Joseph Bottum writing in Bad Medicine grieves:

…….I was utterly mistaken. I did warn that Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats in the House are, after all, people who have always favored health-care reform—and they were going to vote for the Democratic program if they possibly could. But after Stupak stood firm during the debates over the House version of the bill, forcing his amendment through even while enduring the fury of what seemed like every mainstream editorial page in the nation, I thought he would not desert the pro-life organizations when it came down to a vote on the Senate’s version. But desert he did. Praise Bart Stupak now, I demanded—and, like many other pro-lifers, I was left with nothing to show for it.

Bottum writes of  arguments that were used to give cover to the Democrats who call themselves pro-life, from Harry Reid and Bob Casey in the Senate to Bart Stupak in the House.

The first was the claim that, through its complicated payment procedures, the Senate bill ensured that the government portion of the new insurance program wouldn’t actually fund abortions. The second was that nationalizing the health-care system would result in a net drop in the number of abortions performed. And the third was that an executive order from the president would ensure that abortion funding would not follow from the new bill.

Bottum concludes:

Meanwhile, the desertions of Harry Reid and Bob Casey and Bart Stupak mean that the pro-life cause must look entirely to the Republicans for leadership. Oh, they may pick up a few Democratic votes along the way for pro-life measures, but we now know that those Democrats will not take the lead in a pro-life fight. This is a bad result for the pro-life movement—in part because the Republican party platform is not a unified whole: People can oppose abortion while rejecting all the rest. But it’s also bad for the pro-lifers because it weakens the leverage they have within the Republican party.

Obamacare does fund abortion | Washington Examiner

William Saunders: Democrats’ EO offer shows Obamacare does fund abortion | Washington Examiner.

After months of insisting that health care reform does not and will not include federal funding for abortion, President Obama is now considering issuing an executive order, after passage of the health care reform bill, that will state that the legislation does not include funding for abortion.

However, if the bill excludes federal funding for abortion, why is an executive order necessary?

The answer, of course, is that President Obama and the Democratic leadership know that the Senate health care reform bill includes subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortions, could possibly lead to abortion coverage mandates for insurance companies, and does not prevent other funds in the legislation from directly paying for abortions.

The question then becomes, can an executive order correct all of the abortion-related problems in the bill?

The answer is a resounding no. While a carefully worded executive order might be able to take care of some of the mandate concerns, it cannot correct all of the abortion-related problems with the bill. A statute cannot be undone by an executive order or regulation. For example, an Executive Order cannot prevent insurance plans that pay for abortions and participate in the newly-created exchanges from receiving federal subsidies, because this allowance is explicitly written in the bill.

The fact that statutes cannot be overridden by executive orders or regulations has been repeatedly affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. In 2006, the Supreme Court struck down an executive order issued by President Bush to invoke military commission jurisdiction over Hamdan because Congress had impliedly prohibited this action. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557, 579-80 (2006).

Further, Executive Orders can be undone or modified as quickly as they are created. In spite of the fact that the American people overwhelmingly do not want to see their tax dollars go toward abortion, we continue to see restrictions on federal funding for abortions reduced to executive orders, appropriations riders, and regulations. The majority of Americans want to see a prohibition on federal funding for abortion included in permanent, statutory law.

Congress failed to deliver a statutory prohibition on abortion funding in health care reform, and an executive order cannot do the job.

Stupak Stripped of "Defender of Life" Award-Susan B. Anthony List

Stupak Stripped of “Defender of Life” Award-Susan B. Anthony List.

Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund Pledges to Drive Out Pro-life Betrayers in November

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to Rep. Bart Stupak’s announcement that he and other self-labeled “pro-life” Democrats will vote in favor of Healthcare reform legislation with the addition of an Executive Order from the White House to address concerns about abortion funding, Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement:

“This Wednesday night is our third annual Campaign for Life Gala, where we were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform-We will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country.”

“Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this healthcare bill can no longer call themselves ‘pro-life.’ The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund will not endorse, or support in any capacity, any Member of Congress who votes for this bill in any future election. Now through Election Day 2010, these representatives will learn that votes have consequences. The SBA List Candidate Fund will work tirelessly to help defeat Members who support this legislation and make sure their constituents know exactly how they voted. We will actively seek out true pro-life candidates to oppose Members who vote ‘yes’ on this bill, whether it be in general or primary elections. For these Members, it will be a quick downhill slide to defeat in November.”

“The executive order on abortion funding does absolutely nothing to fix the problems presented by the health care reform bill that the House will vote on this evening. The very idea should offend all pro-life Members of Congress.  An executive order can be rescinded at any time at the President’s whim, and the courts could and have a history of trumping executive orders. Most importantly, pro-abortion Representatives have admitted the executive order is meaningless.”

Last night, Rep. DeGette told The Huffington Post, “If there was an executive order saying they weren’t going to use federal funds in the bill to pay for abortions that would be fine with me.”

Today, Rep. Wasserman Schultz admitted to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that “an executive order cannot change the law.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed out today that “only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.”

The Susan B. Anthony List has been leading the fight against abortion funding in health care reform for over a year, spending nearly $2 million on a grassroots campaign of targeted television and radio ads, 1.3 million automated calls, 70,000 patch-through constituent calls, 1.2 million letters and petitions to Congress, two media and grassroots tours in pro-life Democratic districts, television ads in six districts and comprehensive polling in 20 pro-life Democratic districts.

The Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of Americans, over 280,000 residing in all 50 states, dedicated to mobilizing, advancing, and representing pro-life women in politics. Its connected Candidate Fund increases the percentage of pro-life women in the political process.

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Expansion of Human Embryo Experimentation.

Thoughts of the Great Unwashed point  here for a read on the label given Obama as the “abortion president”:

One of the most outspoken abortion opponents in Congress labeled President Obama the “abortion president” on Friday in response to news that Obama intended to sign an executive order Monday lifting restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., accused Obama of launching two attacks on pro-life measures. In addition to lifting President Bush’s stem cell restrictions, Obama intends to lift regulations from the Bush administration that allow health care providers and institutions to refuse to participate in abortions on grounds of conscience.

“Why does the president persist in the dehumanizing of nascent human life when better alternatives exist? Human embryo-destroying stem cell research is not only unethical, unworkable and unreliable- it is now, demonstrably unnecessary,” Smith said.Smith labeled Obama’s stem cell policy an expansion of “human embryo experimentation.”