Why Bart Stupak did a better job than people think

As I write this I’m watching Mrs. Bart Stupak praise her husband at the press conference where he will announce his retirement from Congress.  In the discussion that followed my posting on health care reform, I praised Rep. Stupak for his fight to keep abortion funding out of the health care bill then under debate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since then Rep. Stupak has received a lot of criticism for voting for the health bill in exchange for Pres. Obama signing an executive order intended to preserve current restrictions on federal abortion funding.  Some of this criticism has been unfair; I don’t think we should stone Stupak.

The argument against the executive order is, essentially, that it is too flimsy a law to stand up to time and court challenge.  This is the argument the USCCB advanced in its opposition to the health bill, and it seems legally sound.  So the criticism of Rep. Stupak is not that he voted for funding abortion, but that he didn’t get a strong enough law to prevent such funding from one day occurring.

That’s a strong enough reason to oppose the bill, but I don’t think that it’s reason enough to accuse Rep. Stupak and the other pro-life Democrats who supported the bill-plus-executive-order of betrayal.  Throughout the health care debate Rep. Stupak, at considerable personal and political cost, fought to protect the sanctity of life, and I don’t doubt the sincerity of his pro-life commitment.  At the most, I think you can accuse Rep. Stupak of an error in judgment.

And I think we should be careful even with such a limited accusation.  With other “pro-life” Democrats caving in before the executive order was promised, I’m willing to give Rep. Stupak the benefit of the doubt that he thought the executive order was the best restriction on abortion funding he could get.

I’d draw a distinction in this respect between the actions of Rep. Stupak and those who supported the bill—and opposed the US bishops—before the agreement on the executive order.

Since these people—I’m thinking of the Catholic Health Association and “NETWORK”—showed themselves willing to support the bill regardless of the abortion funding restrictions, it’s difficult for me to see how they can be considered “pro-life” in anything more than name.  Their actions had the effect of undermining the congressmen (like Rep. Stupak) still fighting for better restrictions, undermining the authority of the bishops and the unity of the Church, and muddling the Catholic voice on this and all other issues on which the Church attempts to speak.  Why should a politician now take the bishops seriously when they speak on immigration when they command so little respect from their flock when speaking on the much less complex and ambiguous issue of abortion?  The fact that Planned Parenthood has lavished praise on NETWORK is pretty damning, a bit like being named Don Corleone’s favorite judge.

Rep. Stupak at least got a law to ban abortion funding, even if it is a flimsy law.  And I actually think the importance of the executive order has been largely undervalued.  The reason I think the executive order is important, if not ideal, is that, as I’ve remarked on these pages before, the law is a teacher.  The law both reflects and shapes public moral perceptions.

The fact that Pres. Obama, whose pro-abortion credentials are impeccable, signed a law banning federal funding of abortion should represent a significant moral victory for the pro-life cause.  And in this struggle moral victories are important.  Remember, by signing the executive order the President backed away from more staunchly pro-abortion positions he took as a senator and candidate, which included opposing the Hyde Amendment.

What the order does do is both reflect and strengthen the social consensus in this country that abortion is not heath care.  The order may be struck down by the courts, but I think it’s unlikely that it will be rescinded by the President, not because he’s had a sudden change of heart, but because most Americans recognize the hypocrisy of claiming that abortion should be a private choice—that should also be paid for with public funds.

Bart Stupak might not be St. Thomas More, but his public actions are those of a decent man and a good Catholic trying to follow his principles.  In the end, the compromise he supported may not be the best law we could have hoped for, but—despite the conventional wisdom—it might be a step toward the culture of life we hope to create in this country.  For that I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and wish him—sincerely—a blessed retirement.

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27 Responses to Why Bart Stupak did a better job than people think

  1. M.Z. says:

    Since these people—I’m thinking of the Catholic Health Association and “NETWORK”—showed themselves willing to support the bill regardless of the abortion funding restrictions, it’s difficult for me to see how they can be considered “pro-life” in anything more than name.

    I think you have attempted in this post to the greatest extent possible to be an honest broker. The CHA and similar advocacy groups do not believe the abortion funding is in the bill, period. Pro-life groups made claims, aped by the USCCB, that will prove false. This is fortunate for the unborn, but unfortunate for the USCCB. The dispute has not been about doctrinal issues but empirical claims.

    • Qualis Rex says:

      “the CHA and similar advocacy groups do not believe the abortion funding is in the bill, period.”

      Although I cannot say with 100% certainty, given NOW, PP and several other endorsements of the bill PRE Stupak ammendment, I’d have to say this is false. CHA and likeminded wayward orgs knew of the “clearing-house” concept and how it would allow the Federal govt to wash its hands of where the actual moneys were spent. My take is that the CHA, NETWORK et al knew full well, but they chose to simply whistle Dixie, just as they did upon electing Obama.

      • M.Z. says:

        Although I cannot say with 100% certainty, given NOW, PP and several other endorsements of the bill PRE Stupak ammendment, I’d have to say this is false.

        Given your premise, I don’t know why I should accept your claim of authority in your conclusion.

        My take is that the CHA, NETWORK et al knew full well…
        No offense, but your take isn’t well grounded.

        At Vox Nova, we reposted health law expert Timothy Jost’s analysis of the Senate bill. http://vox-nova.com/2010/03/16/jost-responds-to-usccb/

    • Anthony Lusvardi, SJ says:

      M.Z.,

      The CHA statement supporting the bill (pre-order) said that they had “major concerns” about the “life issues.” That sounds more like an ellipses than a period…

      And your ostensible concern for the USCCB’s credibility appears somewhat less than sincere when you accuse them of “aping” pro-life groups in the previous sentence…

      Tony

  2. JF says:

    An executive order means relatively nothing especially coming from a pro choice president who upon entering office nullified two pro-life executive orders upon entering office (The Mexico city policy and the ban on funding for embryonic stem cell research.). Obama’s executive order is a shrewd move considering all this. It means that as long as he can keep discussion away from abortion he has left wide open a back door for a future president to start taxpayer funding of abortion with the stroke of a pen. by securing this foothold actually made the process easier by allowing an executive the ability to bypass the senate and the house. Essentially this will become the domestic version of the “Mexico city policy”. Stupak is too smart to have not realized that. he wants to play political games and get off on a technicality because he wishes to please both his pro-life constituents and his party at the same time as opposed to really fighting for what is right. It’s a coward’s move, and it is no surprise that he is now resigning because the truth has caught up to him.

    it reminds me of one of Aesop’s old fables.

    A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
    scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
    frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion
    says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

    The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
    the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
    paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
    but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

    Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

    Poor froggy Stupak…

  3. Qualis Rex says:

    Ooooooh, Anthony. So many good points there. I share your sentiments, in that I too want to give Stupak the benefit of the doubt, as I do anyone who I don’t know has done some specific willfull harm. I his case specifically, it would have been so much easier politically to simply join the rest of the pro-abortion polticians of his party. But he insisted on being a pro-life Democrat, much more than others who make the claim (CHA and NETWORK being cases in point– good assessment there).

    Immediately after Stupak made the deal with Obama, there wee rumblings of “a-HA!” across the internet of special funding and grants being made for his district. I have since not heard anything about them. And I am also not naive enough to think that many of the people wailing and rendering their garmens over the abortion issue really could not care less, and instead were using it as a rallying cry against socialized medicine, which they would have still opposed regardless if it meant no abortions (or even an end to them).

    So, I guess I stand with you in that I too wish Stupak well, and a pleasant retirement. St Thomas More, pray for us!

  4. Anthony: in and of itself, this essay probably
    couldn’t be better written.

    But for me, that is not the point. The point is that
    somewhere recently, we’ve allowed ourselves AS
    Catholics, to BE Hijacked by the Abortion debates!
    To me, in essence, this does not pass The Smell Test!

    I do not stand as a Catholic for ANY ONE issue!
    That would be sick. And to me is sick, when we boil
    any Politician down to a muddled single issue, that
    is shot through with Gray til the cows come home!

    I pray you give us more grounded theology, and not
    Secular Pulp Fiction assessments, since their are
    enough doing the latter, and next to none doing
    the former. I for one could use more!

    • JF says:

      If it is single-minded to want to prevent our nation from federally funding an intrinsic moral evil then so be it, but it does not change the facts. nor does it change the fact that the USCCB would have actually supported the bill it it removed the offending funding and secured conscience protection. I was reading the statement the bishops made in ’98 concerning Evangelium Vitae. if anything hindsight has shown they are being consistent with their teaching and it is grounded theology. It’s basically a long and detailed way of saying the ends do not justify the means and in this case the means are inexcusable.

      I’ll excerpt a section from paragraph 23 of the statement (http://www.usccb.org/prolife/gospel.shtml) which references Evangelium vitae paragraph 75. (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html) (emphasis placed in this quote are in original)

      Adopting a consistent ethic of life, the Catholic Church promotes a broad spectrum of issues “seeking to protect human life and promote human dignity from the inception of life to its final moment.” Opposition to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice. Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care. Therefore, Catholics should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and marginalized in all these areas. Catholic public officials are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to build consistent policies which promote respect for the human person at all stages of life.

      *** But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. ***

      Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the “temple of the Holy Spirit” — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house.

      *** All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation. ***

      These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right — the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Such attacks cannot help but lull the social conscience in ways ultimately destructive of other human rights. As Pope John Paul II reminds us, the command never to kill establishes a minimum which we must respect and from which we must start out “in order to say ‘yes’ over and over again, a ‘yes’ which will gradually embrace the entire horizon of the good” (Evangelium Vitae, 75).

    • Anthony Lusvardi, SJ says:

      Virgilijus:

      Some day I’ll write a more detailed post to answer this specific issue. For now I’ll just hint at where I think the theological answer is. Abortion, for American Catholics is a limit case for whether we take seriously Matt. 25:45: “Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.” It’s also a limit case for whether we take seriously the promise of equality found in our own founding civic documents.

      There are other more practical reasons having to do with the sheer number of innocent people deliberately killed by abortion (more each year in the US alone than have been killed in all the years of the Iraq War combined) and the way in which the abortion issue represents a malfunctioning of the American Constitutional system. This last I think explains why the debate is so often so nasty and so either/or. I’ll flesh this out sometime, but it will take too many paragraphs to do it well right now…

      None of these reasons mean that abortion should be the only issue Catholics care about, but they do provide sufficient grounds to reasonably consider it the most important issue of our day.

      Tony

  5. becky says:

    Thank you – this was a good counterpoint to much that I’ve been reading, and I appreciate it!

  6. crystal says:

    Federal money is used for many things we don’t all want, like war, the death penalty, but the church doesn’t tell us to stop paying taxes for these activities, I suppose because those lives lost are not considered innocent? Why is “innocent” life believed to be more valuable or more worth preserving than other life? Aren’t all lives of equal worth?

    • Anthony Lusvardi, SJ says:

      Hi Crystal,

      I have not seen the Church directing anyone to stop paying taxes. Where is that coming from?

      The qualification “innocent” has really nothing at all to do with the value of one human life versus another. The only reason the death penalty or war could be justified in any circumstances is as an extension of the right to self-defense. All the term “innocent” in this context means is that the right to self-defense can’t be invoked as a justification for killing. (And in most arguments I’ve seen it invoked to attempt to justify the death penalty, at least in the US, it seems like a stretch to me.) We can never justify taking human life by claiming that such life is not valuable, or not as valuable as that of others.

      Tony

  7. Gregory Benedict says:

    O God, who art the Pastor and Governor of them that put their trust in thee; look down in mercy on thy servant Benedict, whom thou has chosen to be pastor and ruler of thy Church. Grant unto him, we beseech thee, a spirit of courage and right judgement, that he and all thy whole Church may be preserved and strengthened against every adversity; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

    V. Let us pray for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict.
    R. May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and not hand him over to the power of his enemies.

    V. May thy hand, O Lord, be upon thy servant;
    R. Whom thou hast anointed, to be a priest forever after the order of Melchisedek.

    Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

  8. Tony:
    My soul is glad that you will own Leadership on
    this broader perspective with more scholarship to
    come. A definite Jesuitical mandated Mission:
    to fight ignorance, wherever it exists within
    our means, and in response to Providence (Thy will
    be done on earth as it IS in heaven….)!

    As far as my Catholic years go, I believe future
    history will find tinges of ‘Spanish Inquisition
    Mentality Syndrome’ in our present day Abortion
    Extravaganza!

    To attack choice of leadership not on resume
    competence, but on a single-issue would probably
    have disqualified all the fishermen the Fisherman
    chose!
    I pray for these abused Congressman, who are
    attached not for their faith, but for what they
    will or will not do as is their right under “our”
    (not all nations have these!) s e p a r a t i o n
    of Church from State, as Jesus said: give to Caesar…
    while our American Catholics ignore this Jesus Dictum!

    Lastly, Tony, look at all our collective verbiage:
    ruminating ONLY around what little we know, but
    spend little time on what we do not know: that is
    not virtue, for starters!
    In your later piece, look at today’s GREATER loss
    of life in North Korea, China, Siberia, Darfur, etc.
    And the ignored “Universal Holocaust” that got no
    media attention, while money funded the “Jewish
    Holocaust” whose numbers PALE by comparison….
    CBC Radio has just completed a Two Part series on
    the Ukrainian Holocaust: over 8 million lives!
    From the West: screaming silence! And that is just
    one nation of many!!!
    As a Euro-centric Male I raise the broader real
    issue of “life” that mere singular abortion does not!
    And I’m not even going to address the planned End-life
    issues among the aging in just about most totalitarian
    regimes….

    Jesus will hold us to account for our talents:
    too many have buried them IN THE mere abortion sand!

    Catholicism should STAND for its collective
    WHOLENESS of messaging and not limit itself to
    niche esoterics! We need to re-think WHAT we want
    the Naked Public Square to read us as!

    I pray for your Jesuitical success, as I believe
    Ignatius is likewise. AMDG!

    • JF says:

      You say single issue like it’s a dirty word. Let’s play out a little thought experiment… Suppose we had two candidates running for office Candidate A is an average politician of little or no remarkable quality. Candidate B is a highly educated scholar and statesman with an impeccable foreign policy and and domestic strategy. However there is just one catch, He’s an avowed cannibal, and is seeking the freeing up of cannibalization laws (but of course under strict government regulation). Would you vote for candidate A or B? Would voting for candidate A make you a single issue voter? Why is that single issue important to you? It need not be a religious answer, for abortion, just like cannibalism (or any act which debases the dignity of humanity) can be answered from arguments in natural law which is largely universal among believers and non-believers.

      in response to your remark on the separation of church and state you are actually referring to the non establishment clause of the first amendment which only states that a state church will not be created (such as the church of England the pilgrims ran away from). The free exercise of religion is guaranteed and among those who practice religion the practice of incorporating it into our daily lives (as opposed to compartmentalizing it) is recommended. what it sounds like you are trying to do is give the same dodge Mario Cuomo gave and it was stale then and even staler now.

      Now for statistics. I should note the catholic church is already on the ground working in Darfur and Haiti (as a mater of fact I live pretty close to Haiti and my bishop God bless him is very close to the Haitians he has served over the years) and If China and North Korea were not too busy persecuting the church I’m sure the church could help much more there too. they are there in eastern Europe helping in the Ukraine I am quite sure, and as tragic and terrible as the loss of 8 million lives lost there and the 9 million lost in the concentration camps it does not hold a candle to the 49,551,703 killed legally under abortion since the passage of Roe V Wade. (information based on CDC and Guttmacher institute data http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html) I pray for the day when we can get that number below 1 million a year, only recently, has this number started to decline, one can hope the trend continues.

      I am not a single minded man Mr Kaulius, but I know the elephant in the room when I see it, and this is a fight that deserves a great deal of attention, not all, but quite a lot. Numerically, it is encompassing; legislatively, it is institutional and therefore more insidious; theologically it is the genocide of the innocent and such a vile act screams to heaven like a banshee. It cannot be ignored and it cannot be mitigated and any attempt to do so would be an insult to the dignity of all who have died unjustly.

  9. Qualis Rex says:

    Anthony – agreed (again). There ARE many, MANY issues that we as Catholics should be concerned with. But as you point out, abortion is a lithmus test for how we live the gospel. Not because we as individual Catholics perform or participate in them, but because we as Catholics live in a society which not only provides them, but is moving towards an environment where they are indeed a “non-issue”. The abortion lobby would like nothing more for Catholics (and other christians) to simply “move on” and not let this be the central issue. We simply cannot allow this to happen.

    Sidebar: I had lunch with my 60-something aunt who is nominally a nun (hint: from one of those orders being “visited”). During a conversation, a 30-something cousin joked about her biological clock, to which aforementioned aunt responded with a scowl, “You don’t want to have kids. There are too many babies in the world today.” This is what we are dealing with here.

    • JF says:

      I agree Qualis, this is the kind of mentality we are facing. a man who kills because he is passionate is not nearly as terrible as a man who kills because he is efficient. the former takes much pains to justify death, the latter has institutionalized it.

  10. therese says:

    “The point is that
    somewhere recently, we’ve allowed ourselves AS
    Catholics, to BE Hijacked by the Abortion debates!”

    Now, what if I wrote: “The point is that somewhere recently we’ve allowed ourselves AS Catholics to BE Hijacked by the Slavery issue…this is sick etc etc.”

    The reality that one person can actually own another person for any reason is what is sick. That’s why, when it was legal in the country, we had to fight a war over it. It became the premier issue because it was a foundational issue.

    That’s what has happened with the Abortion issue. It is foundational because it denies life itself to the most defenseless people in this country. To give them a voice is not to be “Hijacked”, it is to do what we’re commanded to do in Mt 25, as Anthony said.

    We can point fingers at the USCCB, the CHA, NETWORK, Stupak etc until the cows come home but the bottom line is that, until we settle in our own hearts that this foundational issue must be moved from the sand to the solid rock of Church teaching, this cleft is just going to get wider & wider. Which delights Obama, PP etc because they are the ones who are making BIG money off the sale of kids by their parents with the support of CINOs such as Biden, Pelosi, Sebelius et al.

    • JF says:

      These big problems start at the foundations of our own consciences. its the small changes over all that will put this problem to rest. Spoken like St. Therese herself.

  11. crystal says:

    Anthony,

    Thanks for the explanation. It would be off-topic to go further down the “self-defense” road, but it’s interesting how that became part of church teaching ….. not from Jesus/the gospels, but Thomas Aquinas and Augustine, I guess?

    • Anthony Lusvardi, SJ says:

      Sure thing. The Catechism has footnotes to Aquinas on the issue of self-defense, and I’m guessing you’re right about Augustine too. I suspect you could find some justification for self-defense in the Mosaic law as well, but I’m too lazy to look that up right now…

  12. JF says:

    These big problems start at the foundations of our own consciences. its the small changes over all that will put this problem to rest. Spoken like St. Therese herself 🙂

    • Qualis Rex says:

      JF so true. I don’t think we will ever win the war against the unborn in the courts (i.e. the Supreme Court). If we could have, I think it would have been done by now, since a fetus is undoubtedly, unquestionably a human being, and therefore a citizen of this country guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I think the only way the war against the unborn will be won is as you say, starting at the foundation. If citizens are finally convinced abortion is wrong, it will not matter what the courts say.

  13. Stupak was never going to vote against the bill anyway.
    Listen to the “Big” stone Stupak throws at himself.

  14. Qualis Rex says:

    I really hate it when people use the death penalty to paint those who do not support abortion with an “either/or” brush. As if those of us who do not support abortion must somehow be hypocrites because we aren’t as vocal or rend our garments over the death penalty. I personally am against both (in the US, but I am also cogniscent of the fact that the death penalty may be the last resort in places which does not have an infrastructure to protect the rest of society). I happen to personally be more vocal on the issue of abortion, simply because it is an EPIDEMIC, or genocide if you will. The number of people killed in the US due to capital punishment is but a miniscule fraction of the victims of abortion. I really hope this makes sense now.

  15. Greg says:

    Fruit of Stupak’s fine work…..

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010
    Another Broken Promise – Surprise! Abortion Really IS Covered in Health Care Bill

    If you want proof that President Obama’s Executive Order on taxpayer-funded abortion was a sham, look no further than Pennsylvania, says House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio).

    Boehner and other Republicans point to reports that the Health and Human Services Department is giving Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new high-risk insurance pool that will cover any abortion that is legal in the state.

    “The fact that the high-risk pool insurance program in Pennsylvania will use federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions is unconscionable,” Boehner said in a statement on Tuesday.

    “Just last month at the White House, I asked President Obama to provide the American people with a progress report on the implementation of his Executive Order, which purports to ban taxpayer-funding of abortions. Unfortunately, the President provided no information, and the American people are still waiting for answers.”

    President Obama pledged that under his health care plan “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

    In a May 13 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Boehner asked if her department has provided guidance to the states on how to implement the president’s Executive Order on abortion funding. Boehner also asked Sebelius if the new federal high-risk pools would exclude abortion coverage.

    He says his questions remain unanswered.

    “Millions of Americans care deeply about this aspect of the new law and its implementation, and no progress report is complete without detailed information about it,” Boehner wrote to Sebelius.

    The conservative Family Research Council says the $160 million in taxpayer funds for Pennsylvania is the first known instance of direct federal funding of abortions through the new high-risk insurance pools.

    The abortion funding for pool participants validates the arguments pro-life groups made throughout the health care debate – that taxpayer dollars will fund abortions, said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of the Family Research Council’s political action arm.

    “For our efforts to remove the bill’s abortion funding, we were called ‘deceivers’ by President Obama and ‘liars’ by his allies. Now we know who the true deceivers and liars really are,’ McClusky said.

    “This action by the Obama Administration also exposes the worthlessness of President Obama’s Executive Order that supposedly would prevent federal funding of abortion, but which both sides, including Planned Parenthood, agreed was unenforceable.

    “While the American people deserve an apology from President Obama for his deception, we should only be satisfied when this Pennsylvania abortion funding is rescinded and the health care law repealed.

    McClusky noted that the new health care law also includes $12.5 billion for community health centers, and $6 billion for co-ops, both of which can fund abortions. And some people will use tax credits to help them pay for plans that cover abortion.

    Even before it’s fully implemented, the Democrats’ health care plan “is already being exposed as a high-taxing, poorly thought-out, and taxpayer-funding-of-abortion monstrosity,” McClusky said.

    Republican leader Boehner says House Republicans would codify the Hyde amendment, thus prohibiting all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. Under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage would not receive federal funds
    Posted by Kresta In The Afternoon at 5:16 PM 0 comments

  16. Greg says:

    more fruit……… Fruit of Murder and death

    Obama Admin Approves Second Set of Abortion Funding Under Health Care Law
    by Steven Ertelt
    LifeNews.com Editor
    July 14, 2010

    Email RSS Print

    Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The day after revelations that the Obama administration allowed federal taxpayer funding of abortions under the new national health care law that was supposed to prevent it, new information shows President Barack Obama has authorized abortion funding in a second state.

    The first abortion funding had the Obama administration approve a Pennsylvania plan calling for the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions for virtually any reason through a new high risk insurance program created by the national health care law.

    Now, the National Right to Life Committee, which uncovered the first case of abortion funding, has dug up a second set — in New Mexico.

    NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson informed LifeNews.com of the first set and spoke with Kathryn Lopez of National Review about the abortion funding in the western state.

    He said New Mexico state officials have put together a new $37 million high-risk pool that will begin enrolling members on July 1 and they will begin receiving benefits August 1 — including federal funding for elective abortions according to the state insurance department’s website. After the insured pays the deductible, taxpayer dollars from the federal government cover the remaining 80 percent.

    “HHS has been hiding most of these high-risk plans, including the plan that HHS will administer directly in 21 states. Of the four state plans we’ve managed to ferret out, two provided coverage of essentially all abortions — Pennsylvania and New Mexico,” Johnson told National Review.

    “This is part of a pattern, under this administration, of making ‘soft’ rhetorical statements on abortion policy, but consistently promoting and expanding abortion through low-visibility administrative decisions. The administration’s heavy funding of groups pushing a proposed new pro-abortion constitution in Kenya is another example,” Johnson added.

    House minority leader John Boehner also sent a statement to National Review about the New Mexico funding.

    “In just the past 24 hours, we’ve learned of two states in which the new federal high-risk insurance programs created under Obamacare and approved by the Obama administration will use federal funds to pay for abortion, despite promises by the White House and Democratic leaders that no such funding would occur under Obamacare,” he said.

    “These developments provide stark confirmation that President Obama’s executive order last spring was little more than a political ploy to ensure passage of Obamacare by circumventing the will of the American people, who are clearly opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion,” the Republican leader added.

    Lopez, of National Review, opined on the situation and urged voters to hold accountable in November those lawmakers who voted for the pro-abortion health care plan.

    “The Obama administration lied, and members of Congress who claim to be pro-life went along with the sham. There should, indeed, be electoral consequences,” she said.

    Related web sites:
    National Right to Life – http://www.nrlc.org

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