Democrats’ Promise of Executive Order to Stop Abortion Funding a Hollow One

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

Democrats’ Promise of Executive Order to Stop Abortion Funding a Hollow One

by Tom McClusky
March 20, 2010 Note: Tom McClusky is the Senior Vice President of Family Research Council and FRC Action, its legislative arm that has been lobbying against the pro-abortion Senate health care bill.

There is rumor circulating on Capitol hill (ok there are tons of rumors but I’ll deal with this one) that the President will sign an Executive Order that would remove abortion funding from the Senate health care bill the House is scheduled. Here is the draft of a letter we are sending to Hill offices. to note also, any Order he issues, he can just as easily take away with the stroke of his pen.

March 20, 2010

Member of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Representative:

On behalf of FRCAction, the legislative arm of Family Research Council, and the families we represent, we want to take this opportunity to warn you off any rumored last minute schemes or promises to issue an Executive Order (EO) that would magically fix the fact that the Senate bill (H.R. 3590) would spend government funds to pay for elective abortions.

Further, the Reconciliation bill 4872) will make matters worse by increasing funding for community health centers, which will bypass any abortion funding restrictions in appropriations bills because it is directly appropriated. Both taken together will fund abortion, regardless of any EO.

President Obama and the Democratic leadership know that such a plan, due to legal precedent, would be worth little in the long run. Some examples of courts overruling Executive Orders include:

• The District of Columbia Court of Appeals struck down Executive Order 12954, “Ensuring the Economical and Efficient Administration and Completion of Federal Government Contracts,” issued by President Clinton, March 8, 1995, which authorized sanctions on federal contractors that exercise their legal right to permanently replace economic strikers. In Commerce of U.S. v. Reich, 74 F.3d 1322. The court ruled that the executive order is regulatory in nature and is preempted by the NLRB, which guarantees employers the right to hire permanent replacements. Chamber of Commerce of U.S. v. Reich, 74 F.3d 1322.

• The Hamdan decision struck down President Bush’s executive order because Congress, in enacting a statutory military commissions system, had impliedly prohibited the President’s invocation of military commission jurisdiction over Hamdan. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557, 579-80 (2006).

In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952), the Supreme Court struck down President Truman’s executive order during the Korean War that purported to authorize assuming federal control of certain domestic steel mills due to labor unrest.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the President for finally admitting that H.R. 3590 would lead to taxpayer funding of abortions (as we detailed in our score letter sent previously that can be found here as well as a chart comparing the Stupak-Pitts amendment language in the original House passed bill vs. abortion language in H.R. 3590. This chart can be found here

If the Obama Administration continued to falsely believe the Senate bill had no problem on the issue of funding abortion and funding health plans that include abortion, he certainly would not put forth the idea of an EO.

Because of an EO would give no protections to the unborn when it comes to funding for abortion in the Senate bill, and abortion funding remains in these bills, FRCAction will still plan to score both the vote on both the Senate bill and on the Reconciliation bill in our scorecard for the Second Session of the 111th Congress.


Thomas McClusky
Senior Vice President

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