President Obama Signs Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill, Ignores Executive Order
by Steven Ertelt
March 23, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama signed the pro-abortion government-run health care bill into law today but did not sign an executive order that would supposedly nullify the abortion funding. Leading pro-life and pro-abortion groups are in rare agreement as they say the order is virtually meaningless.
Obama did not sign the companion executive order that Congressman Bart Stupak negotiated to supposedly ban abortion funding under the bill in exchange for several votes that led to passage of the legislation.
During his address to members of Congress before signing the bill, Obama made no mention of the executive order, abortion, or the arrangement he made with Stupak and other Democrats who had been waiting until the last-minute to determine their stance on the bill.
Yesterday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told the "Early Show" on CBS that Obama would "keep his word" on signing the order. She did not provide a date by which he would sign it.
"Clearly, he intends to keep his word," she said.
Congressman Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican who is one of the most prominent pro-life advocates in the House, said what many pro-life groups have explained about the uselessness of the executive order in combating the abortion funding and promotion in the bill.
From a pro-life perspective, I find absolutely no comfort in this executive order. This puts the fate of the unborn in the hands of the most pro-abortion President in history, Pitts said.
He pointed out that an executive order issued by Obama can’t trump a law passed by Congress.
Dorinda Bordlee, a respected pro-life attorney with the Bioethics Defense Fund, also analyzed the executive order and said it won’t work to stop abortion funding.
"The language of the Executive Order reveals that it was a meaningless sham designed to induce the Stupak Democrats to vote ‘yes’ on the Senate bill that provides federal subsidies and direct funding of abortion,’ she told LifeNews.com.
"The Obama administration knows full well that statutory law overrides executive orders. The president acting alone cannot ‘extend’ the Hyde Amendment policy to new programs as the Executive Order vaguely purports to do – only the Congress can do that," Bordlee added. "A court challenge (i.e. by Planned Parenthood) would immediately invalidate the null promises of the Executive Order."
As soon as the measure is signed, efforts to file lawsuits against the bill will spring into action.
Bill McCollum will join Attorneys General from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota to file a lawsuit against the legislation.
"The health care reform legislation passed by the U. S. House of Representatives this evening clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state’s sovereignty," McCollum said in a statement late Sunday.
"If the President signs this bill into law, we will file a lawsuit to protect the rights and the interests of American citizens," he added.
They will be joined by pro-life organizations, including the American Center for Law and Justice.
This health care package fails the American people and does not provide permanent protections for the life of the unborn, Jay Sekulow, the ACLJ chief counsel, told LifeNews.com on Monday.
This flawed health care package may have passed – but it is far from being implemented," Sekulow explained.
"We’re preparing legal action to challenge this measure and intend to file a lawsuit in federal court soon challenging a law that is not only wrong for America – but a law with a forced mandate that penalizes Americans who choose not to participate. That is unconstitutional and we believe ultimately will be overturned by the courts," he added.
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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