Boehner, Pro-Life Group Use Emanuel Admission on Abortion, Obamacare

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 18, 2011   |   7:16PM   |   Washington, DC

The office of Speaker John Boehner and pro-life groups have noticed comments from former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on the issue of abortion and health care.

During an interview with the Chicago Tribune editorial board, Emanuel said the executive order President Barack Obama signed to supposedly stop the abortion funding the health care reform measure would allow is not a federal law. He also essentially admitted it must not have been too bad because former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top abortion advocates endorsed it. 
The Speaker’s office sent out this afternoon a fact check on the bill to repeal Obamacare that seized on the comments.

“In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune editorial board, facing questions about his commitment to the pro-abortion cause, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel emphasized that the Executive Order on abortion signed by President Obama in March 2010 – ostensibly to eliminate the need for the pro-life Stupak Amendment to be attached to ObamaCare – does not carry the force of law, and as such, has the seal of approval of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others who oppose a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion,” the document said.

“Emanuel also seemed to acknowledge that the EO was a maneuver by the Obama Administration to circumvent a bipartisan majority in the House – and the will of the American people – which supported the pro-life Stupak amendment,” Boehner’s office added.

Meanwhile, saying that the interview would engender more opposition to Obamacare, Family research Council president Tony Perkins said this week’s interview with Obama’s former chief-of-staff is very telling.

“In a discussion with Carol Moseley Braun and the Chicago Tribune, Rahm Emanuel confirmed what FRC has said all along–that nothing is stopping the health care law from funding women’s abortions. Not the current language, and definitely not the phony executive order agreed to by Rep. Bart Stupak,” he said of Emanuel’s comments.

The exchange between Emanuel and pro-abortion former Senator Carol Moseley Braun follows:

Moseley Braun: “You wound up being the person tagged with making that, quote, ‘compromise’ happen…”

Emanuel: “That’s a fair question, and I’ll explain it. President Obama was determined to get his health care bill passed. There were 14 votes that were holding [it] up, and my job as chief-of-staff was to help the President get… that legislation.”

Moseley Braun: “And so you threw women under the bus?”

Emanuel: “I came up with an idea for an executive order to allow the Stupak-Amendment not to exist by law but by executive order, and it was good enough for Nancy Pelosi…who [is] held up in honors by people like NARAL and Planned Parenthood who supported that bill and supported the way to make progress.”

Perkins responded, “Notice the words ‘not to exist by law.'”

“Back when Congressman Stupak struck this deal, pro-lifers were shocked that his coalition would trade away their votes for a meaningless piece of paper. Executive orders can do a lot of things–but impacting the health care law isn’t one of them,” Perkins explains. “This was a symbolic gesture by a shrewd White House. It may have gotten the better of Stupak, but it won’t fool Americans.”

“If anything, Emanuel has just done Republicans a huge favor. By admitting that taxpayer-funded abortion not only exists–but thrives–in the health care law, he’s turned the country’s attention back to the biggest travesty of all,” he added.