Democrats Use Obama Executive Order on Abortion Funding to Get Bill Votes

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 20, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Use Obama Executive Order on Abortion Funding to Get Bill Votes

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 20
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Apparently unable to find enough votes for the pro-abortion Senate health care bill and with talks breaking down on how to allow Rep. Bart Stupak a vote on some sort of motion or bill to stop abortion funding, Democrats appear to be relying on a potential executive order to corral more votes for the bill.

The idea is to promise an executive order from President Barack Obama to stop the massive abortion funding and promotion in the Senate measure.

The goal is to pacify Stupak and a coalition of pro-life Democrats threatening to vote against the Senate bill without abortion funding removed.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters at mid-day today, according to the Daily Caller that he can’t promise an executive order will be issued but said one is under discussion.

“The intent is obviously to express what we have said all along, that we believe the language that has been included in both bills seeks to accomplish, and that is that there will no use of public funds for abortion,” he said.

Pelosi herself commented on the idea.

"An executive order is a different thing. That might be a possibility," she said according to a conversation Politico overhead.

Leading pro-life advocates say an executive order is a non-starter because it can’t fix themyriad of pro-abortion problems with the bill.

"It should be noted that all of the problems listed in the NRLC letter — with the possible exception of no. 5 (pro-abortion administrative mandates) — would be created by and controlled by the proposed statutory language of H.R. 3590," Douglas Johnsn of National Right to Life told "If the bill is signed into law, these statutory requirements and defects are not subject to correction or nullification by the chief executive or his appointees, whether by Executive Order, regulation, or otherwise."

Meanwhile, Pelosi has been huddling with top pro-abortion Democrats who don’t want to see any attempt made to stop abortion funding.

But Rep. Diana DeGette, the Colorado Democrat who heads the pro-abortion forces in the House, told Jonathan Cohn of the New Republican that she might be okay with the idea.

A spokesman for Stupak said “discussions are continuing,” though Rep. Dale Kildee, a pro-life Michigan Democrat who plans to support the bill, admitted "have collapsed."

Rep. Dan Lipinski, an Illinois pro-life Democrat, told Politico that the Stupak coalition is holding firm and that there will be no support for the bill without an ironclad agreement preventing abortion funding.

"There’s still time and they still need votes," he said.

Rep. Joseph Pitts, a top pro-life Republican, also talked about the negotiations and said "Bart’s always said this’ll come down to Saturday night at 11 o’clock." He said he expects Stupak and company to hold their line.

The initial response from pro-life advocates to an executive order has been negative, especially given that Obama used one to force taxpayers to fund the performance and promotion of abortions overseas during his first week in office by dumping the Mexico City Policy.

Under the Senate health care bill that will be the main bill Obama and Democrats push through Congress, there is no ban on abortion funding. While some states can opt out of funding abortions under the plan, taxpayers in other states will be forced to pay for them.

But the bill contains other pro-abortion problems that are concerns for pro-life advocates.

The bill requires that at least one health care plan be promoted across the country that pays for abortions, more abortion funding would come via the affordability credits, and many of the so-called limits on abortion funding in the Senate bill are temporary and could expire or be overturned at a later date.

The Senate health care bill also pays for abortions under the Indian Health Service program.

And it contains the Mikulski amendment that would allow the Obama administration to define abortion as preventative care and force insurance plans to pay for abortions.

Finally, the Senate bill does not contain language needed to offer full conscience protection for pro-life medical workers and facilities.

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