U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) has an op-ed piece in today’s Washington Post on his support for the federal health care law. Read the entire thing here.
But this is the meat:
Many of my Democratic pro-life colleagues and I worked tirelessly in the days leading up to the final House vote on health-care reform to strengthen the legislation’s restrictions on abortion funding. We proposed numerous procedural and legislative options, but ultimately all of our efforts required the 60 votes we could not obtain in the Senate.
Once it was clear that the House leadership would eventually obtain the 216 votes necessary to pass health-care reform, I was left with a choice: vote against the bill and watch it become law with no further protections for life or reach an agreement that prevents federal funding for abortions.
Therefore, I and other pro-life Democrats struck an agreement with President Obama to issue an executive order that would ensure all Hyde Amendment protections would apply to the health-care reform bill. No, an executive order is not as strong as the statutory language we fought for at the start. We received, however, an “ironclad” commitment from the president that no taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for abortions.
Throughout history, executive orders have carried the full force and effect of law and have served as an important means of implementing public policy. Perhaps the most famous executive order was the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
More recently, in 2007, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13435 restricting embryonic stem-cell research. This executive order protected the sanctity of life and was “applauded” and “welcomed” by pro-life advocates. That these same people would now claim that President Obama’s executive order maintaining the sanctity of life is not worth the paper it is written on is disingenuous at best.
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