Pro-Abortion Lawmakers, Activists Split on Stupak-Obama Abortion Funding Deal

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

Pro-Abortion Lawmakers, Activists Split on Stupak-Obama Abortion Funding Deal

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 20
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — While pro-life groups say the executive order deal struck between Rep. Bart Stupak and President Barack Obama isn’t worth much because an executive order can’t change federal law, pro-abortion lawmakers are pleased with the deal even though they are upset they didn’t see the language beforehand.

Leading pro-life organizations have said they don’t trust Obama and that an executive order can’t fix the abortion funding and promotion under the Senate health care bill.

But Rep. Jan Schakowsy, an Illinois Democrat who is a top pro-abortion activist in the House, told The Hill she’s fine with it.

"Assuming that there’s no final, final, final, final shenanigans that go on with the Stupak people, I think we’re OK," she said.

"A number of us saw some language — proposed language — for an executive order," Schakowsky said. "Nothing that goes beyond current law would be acceptable to us."

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, the head of the pro-abortion faction in the House, appeared to yield the point pro-life gorups were making when she said, according to AP, "it doesn’t change anything."

That view is much different than the reaction from NARAL and Planned Parenthood.

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, complained about the arrangement, but appeared to split between pro-abortion lawmakers and pro-abortion activist groups.

“We regret that a pro-choice president of a pro-choice nation was forced to sign an Executive Order that further codifies the proposed anti-choice language in the health care reform bill," she said, even though the bill allows abortion funding already with virtually no limits.

"What the president’s Executive Order did not do is include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Congressman Bart Stupak (D–MI) had insisted upon. So while we regret that this proposed Executive Order has given the imprimatur of the president to Senator Nelson’s language, we are grateful that it does not include the Stupak abortion ban," she continued.

Nancy Keenan, NARAL’s president, added that "it is deeply disappointing that Bart Stupak and other anti-choice politicians would demand the restatement of the Hyde amendment."

"Today’s action is a stark reminder of why we must repeal this unfair and insulting policy. Achieving this goal means increasing the number of lawmakers in Congress who share our pro-choice values," she said.

The pro-abortion group NOW is another major organization that appears to have released a statement so far on the deal and is "incensed" Obama would agree to it.

NOW attacks the deal as one "designed to appease a handful of anti-choice Democrats who have held up health care reform in an effort to restrict women’s access to abortion."

"Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best. Contrary to language in the draft of the executive order and repeated assertions in the news, the Hyde Amendment is not settled law — it is an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill," NOW continued.

"NOW has a longstanding objection to Hyde and, in fact, was looking forward to working with this president and Congress to bring an end to these restrictions. We see now that we have our work cut out for us far beyond what we ever anticipated," the pro-abortion group concluded.

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