President Obama finally signed the Executive Order (EO) he promised to pro-life Democrats Wednesday afternoon. The EO was the tipping point in gaining Stupak and twelve Democratic pro-life votes for health care reform. Without their votes the bill would not have passed.
Before Obama even signed the EO, pro-life groups across the country denounced it, saying it was not enough to prevent taxpayers from covering abortions.
The president’s order instructs government agencies “to establish a comprehensive, government-wide set of policies and procedures” within 180 days that would make sure that federal funds are segregated from abortion services, except in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.
Family Research Council analyst David Christensen explains, “An Executive Order simply cannot trump statutory law. If the Senate bill passes, the various abortion funding provisions in it will become the law of the land unfettered by this EO.”
Obviously the pro-life community is upset with the results of the vote and now the EO. What is interesting is that the pro-abortion community is just as angry. NOW President Terri O’Neill said,
“We remain deeply dismayed by it. President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice candidate. He campaigned as a person, he said, who was opposed to the Hyde Amendment. This deal, with Bart Stupak, is simply unacceptable.”
While Obama’s EO is better than nothing, it’s important we recognize that this fight is far from over. So far 14 state Attorney Generals have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government and the Senate still has to vote on changes to the bill.