by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Despite repeated claims by the administration that Obamacare does not include abortion funding, a statement by Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards calls the President’s Executive Order a “symbolic gesture” and applauds the fact that the bill “does not include the Stupak abortion ban.”
“As a trusted health care provider to millions of women and families across the country, Planned Parenthood applauds the fact that this legislation would extend health care coverage, including family planning, to tens of millions of women and families . . . and significantly increase access to reproductive health care,” Richards said in a prepared statement.
“The proposal also includes a commonsense provision to expand family planning under Medicaid, which would significantly increase access to essential preventive health care for millions of women….
“Nonetheless, we regret that a pro-choice president of a pro-choice nation was forced to sign an Executive Order that further codifies the proposed anti-choice language in the health care reform bill, originally proposed by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
“What the president’s executive order did not do is include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) had insisted upon. So while we regret that this proposed Executive Order has given the imprimatur of the president to Senator Nelson’s language, it is critically important to note that it does not include the Stupak abortion ban.”
As so many pro-life leaders tried to explain to Rep. Stupak during these negotiations on Sunday, and what Richards letter confirms, Obama’s Executive Order does not mean a complete ban of abortion funding.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that he and other pro-life leaders were frantically trying to convince Rep. Stupak of these facts. “In a flurry of calls, visits, and emails to the Hill, we warned members that this order would be worthless in the long run because it cannot trump statutory law,” Perkins said.
Even the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) appealed to Rep. Stupak to reject the compromise.
“As an attorney, Bart Stupak would have known that this was an empty gesture on the President’s part,” Perkins writes. “More importantly, he turned away from beliefs and put that trust in the most pro-abortion President in U.S. history. Americans have come to expect this kind of betrayal from this White House–but they never expected it from the man fighting for life in his party.”
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