House Passes Pro-Abortion Senate Health Care Bill After Executive Order Deal
by Steven Ertelt
March 20, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House of representatives tonight approved the pro-abortion Senate health care bill on a 219-212 vote with a 34 Democrats joining Republicans against it. The bill contains massive abortion funding and promotion that pro-life Democrats hope an executive order will mitigate.
Before the votes, Rep. Bart Stupak negotiated a deal with pro-abortion President Barack Obama for an executive order that he says will nullify the abortion funding.
But, pro-life groups unanimously opposed the executive order saying they don’t trust Obama and that technically it will fail in its attempt to stop the legislation’s abortion funding. They say an executive order can’t modify federal law and that abortions will be funded regardless of the content of the executive order.
"Unfortunately, this proposal does not begin to address the problem, which arises from decades of federal appellate rulings that apply the principles of Roe v. Wade to federal health legislation," Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, explains.
"The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing," National Right to Life added. "It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill."
The top Republican in the House told Democrats prior to the vote that they should be clear the bill funds and promotes abortions.
"Under the Democrats government takeover of health care, there is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally subsidized plans participating in the Exchange, contradicting the Hyde Amendment the longstanding federal policy by providing federal subsidies to private health plans that cover elective abortion," Congressman John Boehner said.
"Moreover, no Executive Order or regulation can override a statutory mandate unless Congress passes a law that prohibits federal funding from being used in this manner," Boehner continued.
"Make no mistake, a yes vote on the Democrats health care bill is a vote for taxpayer-funded abortions," he said.
Despite the abortion funding in the bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi twice referred to the right to "life" — something Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest called a "horrible irony."
In an effort to get the abortion funding out of the bill, Republicans and a handful of Democrats pushed for a motion to send the bill back to committee to add an abortion funding ban.
Stupak disagreed with the motion and surprised pro-life advocates by saying, "It is the Democrats who have stood up for the principle of no funding for abortion."
The motion ultimately failed 228-197 with 20 Democrats joining Republicans to support getting the abortion funding ban in the bill.
Responding to the Stupak-Obama deal, pro-abortion lawmakers appeared to be happy with the arrangement by pro-abortion activist groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL expressed skepticism.
Under the health care bill, 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.
The bill also contains other pro-abortion problems that are concerns for pro-life advocates.
It 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 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 new law does not contain language needed to offer full conscience protection for pro-life medical workers and facilities.
The 34 Democrats to vote against the Senate bill were: Reps. John Adler (N.J.), Jason Altmire (Pa.), Michael Arcuri (N.Y.), John Barrow (Ga.), Marion Berry (Ark.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Rick Boucher (Va.), Bobby Bright (Ala.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Artur Davis (Ala.), Lincoln Davis (Tenn.), Chet Edwards (Texas), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), Tim Holden (Pa.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Frank Kratovil (Md.), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Michael McMahon (N.Y.), Charlie Melancon (La.), Walt Minnick (Idaho), Glenn Nye (Va.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Mike Ross (Ark.), Heath Shuler (N.C.), Ike Skelton (Mo.), Zack Space (Ohio), John Tanner (Tenn.), Gene Taylor (Miss.) and Harry Teague (N.M.)
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.