I realize the title of this post may seem a little rhetorical, but in light of all the other halve-truths and misinformation this one certainly takes the cake. Bart Stupak has been assured that an Executive Order will be enough to assure that the Health Care legislation will be administered with the intent of the Hyde Amendment. The problem is that an Executive Order will never supersede a Law passed by congress and signed by the President. So either Stupak has been duped or he has been looking for a why to say yes with some plausible deniability.
Nice job as always, to Thomas Peters in bringing these comments and commentary to us!
The unanimous view of USCCB advisors is that it cannot work:
“One proposal to address the serious problem in the Senate health care bill on abortion funding, specifically the direct appropriating of new funds that bypass the Hyde amendment, is to have the President issue an executive order against using these funds for abortion. 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. According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding. That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year. The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation. This is the unamimous view of our legal advisors and of the experts we have consulted on abortion jurisprudence. Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.”
Kathryn Lopez at National Review echoes that an Executive Order fix is “meaningless legally.”
The last members of the Stupak coalition are: Berry, Costello, Dahlkemper, Donnelly, Driehaus, Lipinski, Rahall, Stupak. The phone number for Congress is 202-224-3121. Call them and tell them an executive order is not enough – Congress must fix the abortion funding problem! This is your last chance to help influence the outcome of this battle.
Remember, it is the Democrat leadership that forced us into this frantic vote, where representatives have to make the choice between violating their pro-life principles and voting for hastily-crafted legislation with gaping flaws. This is not the way to reform our national health care system.