Monday, March 22, 2010

The Stupak Sellout

Stupak could have been a heroic defender of life, but instead he chose to put his faith in a pro-abortion president’s executive order. Stupak and his group of pro-life democrats were the deciding votes in getting the health care passed on Sunday night. Pro-life unless it kills a health care bill that is. Below is a video of Stupak’s conference before the final vote in which he announced the deal he reached with President Obama on abortion funding.

This sounds good right? How could pro-life groups and the USCCB be against an executive order banning federal funds of abortions? I am not qualified to interpret the health care bill or the law, but I trust the people and resources available to several pro-life groups and they are clearly not satisfied with an executive order. Below is the response to the executive order from some of the most well known pro-life leaders.
“Today, Congress ignored the explicit wishes of the American people by voting to establish taxpayer-funded abortion," Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told
"This reversal of long-standing federal policy will not stand. Furthermore, the assurance by the White House to address the problem of abortion funding in the health care bill through use of an executive order is an open acknowledgement that the bill just passed is pro-abortion legislation," she added.
Nevertheless, according to Richard Doerflinger, Stupak’s deal will be useless in defending life.
“The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation … Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation."
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser announced that the organization had been planning to honor Rep. Stupak at its third annual Campaign for Life Gala on Wednesday for “his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform.”
“We will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country,” Dannenfelser charged. “Courts could and have a history of trumping executive orders.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that “by offering an executive order as a so-called solution, President Obama is finally admitting there is a problem with a bill that will force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions for the first time in over three decades. However, there is no way that an executive order will protect the unborn or prevent the greatest expansion of elective abortion since Roe v. Wade.”
"President Obama and the Democratic leadership know that such a plan, due to legal precedent, will be worth little in the long run. Court rulings in cases such as Commerce of U.S. v Reich and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld make it very clear that such an executive order likely wouldn't survive," Perkins added.
Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., added that pro-life Democrats should be alarmed by a promise coming from a politician with a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
"This puts the fate of the unborn in the hands of the most pro-abortion president in history," he said.
Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared those concerns in a memo sent this morning to key Congressional members and staff.
"We've consulted with legal experts on the specific idea of resolving the abortion funding problems in the Senate bill through executive order. We know members have been looking into this in good faith, in the hope of limiting the damage done by abortion provisions in the bill," Doerflinger says.
"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," Doerflinger explains.
"According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding," Doerflinger continues. "That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year."
I think those comments say it best, but I’d just like to reinforce a couple issues mentioned. First of all, you have to be highly skeptical of a president who has an extensive pro-abortion track record and has received a 100 percent rating from the very pro-abortion group NARAL. Obama has said for months that the senate health care bill did not publicly fund abortion, but if the senate health care bill wasn’t pro-abortion why would an executive order be necessary? I believe that the only reason he did this compromise was to get Stupak’s vote. He knew that the only way to pass the bill was to convince Stupak that abortion would not be funded, but he also didn’t want to upset his pro-abortion backers. He masterfully pulled off fooling Stupak, and although many pro-abortion groups are upset today about the executive order, they will ultimately be happy with this health care bill passage because the courts have a history of trumping executive orders; abortion will be funded because of this bill.
Stupak put his trust in a pro-abortion president’s executive order, one that pro-life groups say is a meaningless because it has no force of law, that abortion will not be funded in this bill. I do not trust that this executive order will overrule the language in the senate health care bill and I do not believe president Obama cares about the unborn children. I’m disappointed in Stupak because he had been such a strong pro-life democrat before this vote. Ironically, Stupak denied inserting his own pro-life language to the bill after Republicans sent the bill back to the committee to add an abortion funding ban. He did this because he valued the passage of this health care bill above the lives of the unborn. I believe that he planned on voting on the bill all along. He preferred pro-life language, but if he failed to get his language passed I think he would have voted yes regardless. Below are Stupak’s comments defending his decision to accept the president’s executive order and not pursue fixing the language in the bill. Stupak defended his decision on the executive order agreement saying it "the sanctity of life is protected," and that the motion was "nothing more than an opportunity to continue to deny 32 million Americans health care."
"For the Republicans to now claim that we send the bill back to committee under this guise of protecting life is disingenuous," Stupak said. "This motion is really to politicize life, not prioritize life."
I could be wrong about that, but below is a video from a couple months that might back up my claim.

Obama wasn’t the only one willing to pass this health care bill at any cost. As it turns out, pro-life Catholic Bart Stupak also wanted to pass this bill at any cost. Shame on you Mr. Stupak! God have mercy on our nation! Please continue to pray for our county and our country’s leaders. Let this be a reminder how important elections can be. Although those of us in the pro-life community are extremely disappointed and saddened today, we must remain hopeful. God can make good out of all situations, even situations as dark as we find ourselves in today. God bless!

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