GOP Leader Asks Obama About Delay on Abortion Funding Executive Order
by Steven Ertelt
June 10, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — House Republican Leader John Boehner, in a meeting today with President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders at the White House, asked Obama to provide a progress report on abortion and health care. Boehner is looking for more information on Obama’s disputed executive order.
When Congress passed the government-run health care bill, it did so without any limits on abortion funding and language mandating taxpayer financing of abortion in certain circumstances.
Obama eventually issued a controversial executive order supposedly taking the abortion funding issue off the table.
However, virtually every pro-life group said would not mitigate the abortion funding because it doesn’t have the effect of law, could be reversed in the future, and because it didn’t tackle much of the abortion funding in the bill. The Obama administration could also ignore the order and not put it in place when the health care law goes into effect.
During the meeting, Boehner noted that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, in her recent report on implementing the health care law Obama signed, did not make any mention of efforts by the administration to implement the executive order.
"While the Obama Administration plows ahead on implementing what it regards as the ‘popular’ aspects of ObamaCare, administration officials have been coy about their aims for putting into practice the president’s executive order on taxpayer-funding of abortion," Boehner’s office said.
"Boehner is still awaiting a response, other than a cryptic reply that executive order guidance was still being developed," it said.
This is the second time Boehner has raised the issue — the first coming in a May 13 letter to Sebelius.
"Has the Department provided guidance to states to implement the presidents Executive Order on abortions? When does the Administration expect to issue the directive on abortions? Will the new federal high-risk pools touted by the Administration also ensure that abortions will not be covered?" that letter asked.
"Millions of Americans care deeply about this aspect of the new law and its implementation, and no progress report is complete without detailed information about it," it said.
Boehner’s office added today, "The answers to the aforementioned questions will determine the extent to which taxpayer dollars fund abortions, which is why it is so troubling that the Administration continues to kick the can down the road on this issue."
Even if the executive order is implemented, Americans will still be subject to some abortion funding and possibly more.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, the executive order "does nothing at all to mitigate" several of the abortion problems.
Those include "provisions that create dangerous regulatory mandate authorities, revise Indian health programs, and create pools of directly appropriated funds that are not covered by existing restrictions on funding of abortion."
"Nor can the order correct the omission … of the necessary conscience-protection language that had been included in House-passed health care legislation last November (the "Weldon language")," the pro-life group added.
Under the health care bill, there is no ban on abortion funding.
While some states can opt out — and have done so — of funding abortions under the plan, taxpayers in other states will be forced to pay for them.
The bill also 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 or birth control that can sometimes cause an abortion.
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