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In deal with Stupak, White House announces executive order on abortion

Updated 4:22 p.m.
By Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray
House Democratic leaders have resolved the abortion dispute that stood in the way of passing health-care reform, and now appear poised to approve the legislation late Sunday.

As part of the agreement, the White House announced that President Obama would issue an executive order on abortion after the House approves the health-care bill assuring that no federal funds would be used to subsidize the procedure. That was enough to secure the support of a group of Catholic Democrats who represent the swing votes on the legislation.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), the leader the anti-abortion holdouts, said he and others in the group can now support a far-reaching health-care package, apparently giving Democrats the votes needed to pass the bill later tonight.

"I've always supported health-care reform," said Stupak. But he added, "There was a principal that meant more to us than anything, and that was the sanctity of life."

According to White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer, the executive order will provide "additional safeguards to ensure the status quo is upheld and enforced, and that the health-care legislation's restrictions against the public funding of abortions cannot be circumvented."

White House officials believe the addition of Stupak and the other pro-life lawmakers to the "yes" column will provide Pelosi withconsiderable breathing room during the next several hours. Before Stupak's announcement, a top adviser had said that without a deal,
passage appeared possible but would have been very, very close. In the
wake of the agreement, West Wing aides appeared relieved.

"We're well past 216," said Stupak, referring to the number of votes needed to pass the legislation.

The text of the pending executive order follows:

Executive Order ensuring enforcement and implementation of abortion restrictions in the patient protection and affordable care act

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (approved March ­­__, 2010), I hereby order as follows:

Section 1. Policy.
Following the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("the Act"), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment. The purpose of this Executive Order is to establish a comprehensive, government-wide set of policies and procedures to achieve this goal and to make certain that all relevant actors--Federal officials, state officials (including insurance regulators) and health care providers--are aware of their responsibilities, new and old.

The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges. Under the Act, longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience (such as the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. §300a-7, and the Weldon Amendment, Pub. L. No. 111-8, §508(d)(1) (2009)) remain intact and new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

Numerous executive agencies have a role in ensuring that these restrictions are enforced, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Section 2. Strict Compliance with Prohibitions on Abortion Funding in Health Insurance Exchanges.
The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014. The Act also imposes strict payment and accounting requirements to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services in exchange plans (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) and requires state health insurance commissioners to ensure that exchange plan funds are segregated by insurance companies in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, OMB funds management circulars, and accounting guidance provided by the Government Accountability Office.

I hereby direct the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS to develop, within 180 days of the date of this Executive Order, a model set of segregation guidelines for state health insurance commissioners to use when determining whether exchange plans are complying with the Act's segregation requirements, established in Section 1303 of the Act, for enrollees receiving Federal financial assistance. The guidelines shall also offer technical information that states should follow to conduct independent regular audits of insurance companies that participate in the health insurance exchanges. In developing these model guidelines, the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS shall consult with executive agencies and offices that have relevant expertise in accounting principles, including, but not limited to, the Department of the Treasury, and with the Government Accountability Office. Upon completion of those model guidelines, the Secretary of HHS should promptly initiate a rulemaking to issue regulations, which will have the force of law, to interpret the Act's segregation requirements, and shall provide guidance to state health insurance commissioners on how to comply with the model guidelines.

Section 3. Community Health Center Program.
The Act establishes a new Community Health Center (CHC) Fund within HHS, which provides additional Federal funds for the community health center program. Existing law prohibits these centers from using federal funds to provide abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), as a result of both the Hyde Amendment and longstanding regulations containing the Hyde language. Under the Act, the Hyde language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers under section 10503 and all other relevant provisions. I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of Federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law. Such actions should include, but are not limited to, updating Grant Policy Statements that accompany CHC grants and issuing new interpretive rules.

Section 4. General Provisions.
(a) Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i) authority granted by law or presidential directive to an agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This Executive Order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.


By Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray  |  March 21, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 'Kill the bill!' shouts protester from House gallery (Video)
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Would like to say stupak is a ho, but a ho offers something for the money. These trough feeders offer nothing and steal everything. People deserve the leaders they get! Just give us everything you have worked for for the last 40 years. No, that will not be enough, but a good start. maroon.

Posted by: pcstench | March 23, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I should not have to buy insurance until I am really sick with cancer, or need an op.
Then I should be able to signup and pay the rates everyone else has been paying for 30 years.

Hey, not my money. If people are that stupid, or more likely have white guilt, then sure pay for everything for me. THANKS WHITEY! you stupid x.

Posted by: pcstench | March 23, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

EVERYTHING is a human right. The question is, who is going to pay.

Now some of the commie euro countries have passed legislation that broadband is a human right.

What is that retched stench? PC?

The gummit owes me a job, a home, big sceen tv WITH SATELLITE, smart phone, health care now that I am sick even though I waited 30 years to pay for it, leisure, car, and I want everything free paid for by SOMEBODY like my neighbor who has no boat, or cycle, or sat tv or 4 cars, etc., and just saved money. PC!

Good luck in paying for it. Many people have not noticed, WE ARE BANKRUPT.

Posted by: pcstench | March 23, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I just want to express my deep relief at the passage of this Health Care Bill. I personally know people who cannot get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, the elderly who are in the donut hole by June or earlier and can't get the meds they need. Health care should not be a luxury of only a few chosen ones, it is the right of all. I am proud to live in a country where the President is so concerned about the people and their needs that he is willing to stand up and take the abuse he has taken in order to fight for something that he and the MAJORITY of the citizens know needs to happen. And thank you to all the Democrats who voted yes to this legislation when the pressure was so great to do otherwise. You are brave souls and you have made a difference in many lives, 32-million-plus lives, as a matter of fact. I applaud this moment in history!

Posted by: Scared4theWorld | March 22, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

What this order does,well beyond the money for choice it repeats W's conscience rules - the ones he left behind before he left.
I believe the Stupak opposition and the timing of the deal was choreographed in advance to provide Obama the political cover to do what he always said he'd do

Posted by: Notyoursweetie | March 22, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

omeowners' insurance isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. In fact, most mortgage companies won't make a loan or finance a residential real estate transaction unless the buyer provides proof of coverage, contact me for free home insurance quote

Posted by: FranciseaIbeeria | March 22, 2010 3:41 AM | Report abuse

This second Stupak "amendment" (trick) adds to the revolting stench already generated by the Obamacare scam.

The stench of the lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, bribery, corruption, and backroom deals to force us to swallow the Obamacare SCAM -- which would destroy our health care, our economy, our freedoms and our country -- has forever tainted the Democratic Party. More and more Americans understand there's no longer a Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party has been replaced by the Progressive (Marxist) party, controlled by U.S. enemies like George Soros and bent on destroying America using the tactics of their Marxist mentor Saul Alinsky. More and more Americans are ready to do whatever necessary to defend themselves from the Obamacare SCAM.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

It's all a trick. Representatives can vote for the bill, then later claim they didn't really want the bill, they just wanted the promised new-improved version which ends up not working out the way they expected. Oh yeah, kinda like the way Congress voted to authorize President Bush to invade Iraq and now they say they didn't mean to vote that way. And how Nancy Pelosi claimed she wasn't really briefed on the CIA enhance interrogation methods. And Obama keeps talking about "8 years of neglect" and ignores the fact that Democrats controlled congress for the last two of those years.

Posted by: sam38 | March 21, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

To use a line from the movie "Forrest Gump": STUPAK IS AS STUPAK does.

I knew ahead of his news conference that that Spineless pretender would forsake his supposed convictions and turn into a spin monger. Apparently more damage control will be needed, as he isn't fooling the very people he claims to be alligned with. This is from a Fox News story... or Faux News - depending on your orientation:
The National Right to Life Committee argued that seven objectionable pro-abortion provisions in the Senate bill are unchanged.

"The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill. The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says," the group said.

Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the group was revoking its "Defender of Life" award to Stupak, which was to be awarded at its Wednesday night gala.

"We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so," Dannenfelser said. "Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.'"

Personally , I didn't care whether he was for it or against it .. whether he changed his vote , kept his vote or what have you - but the BS needs to stop!

Posted by: palmettostatesman | March 21, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

AntonioSosa said

"Fortunately, as we can see now, most Americans have NOT been dumbed down! Most Americans are NOT sheeple! Most Americans are ready to defend their FREEDOM and the freedom of their children and grandchildren from the abomination of Obama’s criminal scams and socialism/Marxism."

toni macaroni, you sound just like beck – murdoch’s number one punk

Posted by: freddane | March 21, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama promised Stupak that, by “executive order,” he’ll remove abortion coverage from the Obamacare scam. And Stupak believed him! You have to be Stupak to be stupaked (tricked) twice!

With such “executive orders,” Obama is becoming almost identical to Hugo Chavez and the rest of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America. DICTATOR Obama seems to be taking over the legislative branch of power to force us to swallow the Obamacare SCAM, which has nothing to do with improving our health care system.

The Legislative branch and not Obama has the power to make laws. But he’s usurping the powers of the Legislative branch and becoming a DICTATOR.

Imitating Hugo Chavez and the rest of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America, Obama wants to take control of everything, including our health care system.

“Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama!” Chavez cheered on Venezuelan TV. He added that he and Cuba’s Fidel Castro would now have to work harder just to keep up.

Fortunately, as we can see now, most Americans have NOT been dumbed down! Most Americans are NOT sheeple! Most Americans are ready to defend their FREEDOM and the freedom of their children and grandchildren from the abomination of Obama’s criminal scams and socialism/Marxism.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 21, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Political Wire: Waterloo for Republicans

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum says Republicans bet that the health care reform bill would be President Obama's Waterloo -- "Just as Health Care was Clinton's in 1994."

"Only, the Hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was Elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton's 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure."

"This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none... We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat."


Obama Approval Jumps Back

President Obama's job approval is back up to 50% with 43% disapproving, according to the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll.

Last Year, Former President Clinton told Political Wire that "the Minute Health Care Reform Passed, President Obama's Approval Ratings would go up 10 Points."

Posted by: omaarsblade | March 21, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

As expected, Stupak turns out to be just one more corrupt, spineless Democrat -- open the corruption, lies, intimidation, coercion and BRIBES of Obama and his comrades.

Stupak already allowed himself to be "tricked" by Stupak amendment! And now he's "tricked" again?!

The house bill would have failed if not for the Stupak amendment, which cleared the way for a Senate vote.

Tricked by the amendment, some Catholics (not all) actually believed the lies of Obama and his accomplices regarding abortion coverage! Tricked by the amendment, they failed to look at the evil behind the whole Obamacare scam.

Informed Americans, however, understand that, if Obama gets his way, Obamacare will FORCE us to pay for abortions, infanticide (late-term abortion) and probably euthanasia, no matter what Obama and his comrades say to force us to swallow the scam.

Lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.

We expect our representatives to defend us from the whole Obamacare scam, not just the abortion part of the scam.

Was Stupak in cahoots with Obama and his comrades from the beginning, distracting us with his pretend "pro-life" stand from the evil behind the whole Obamacare scam?

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 21, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

We have a new word for our Dictionary today: Stupak'ed

"You've been Stupak'ed."

No doubt that these words will make a person's stomach turn sour because you realized you've been've been had...suckered.

"You've been Stupak'ed." Kind of like being screwed over.

But mostly - it's about the fact that the other person simply wasn't capable of the intellectual or moral rigor that was needed in the argument. He or she was afraid of being found out.

So - he or she "Stupak'ed" you.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | March 21, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Dang stpak - you didn't even get a ride in the jet. But you've taken us for a ride - c-ya!

Posted by: rvenema | March 21, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Stupak - you and the Democrats are screwed come November. Pack you s hit.

Posted by: rvenema | March 21, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Stupak - you and the Democrats are screwed come November. Pack you s hit.

Posted by: rvenema | March 21, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

IT'S A DONE DEAL!! Congrats, everybody!

Pop the bubbly! An historic day for America!

Posted by: Rubiconski | March 21, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Stupak's going over to the "dark side" only supports the idea that the United States is moving in the wrong direction toward socialism with a House and Senate full of little dictators hell bent on doing their thing without the support of their constituents back home. For shame!

Posted by: moose490 | March 21, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has reached a deal with House Democratic leadership on the abortion language in the health care reform bill.

Stupak, a pro-life Democrat, was one of the key holdouts on the bill, and as late as this morning told reporters that he controlled eight of the votes.

He just announced that he and the leadership have reached a deal on the bill's abortion language, and he and several house Democrats will now vote "yes."

Among those present with Stupak at the press conference are at least six other Democrats: Marcy Kaptur, Nick Rahall, Steve Driehaus, Kathy Dahlkemper, Alan Mollohan and Chris Carney.

He said that though he always supported health care reform, "there was a principle that meant more to use than anything, and that was the sanctity of life."

Stupak continued: "There has been some question raised by different groups, that in this health care reform package, that somehow some way, the abortions could be performed at the community health centers. The President's executive order makes it very clear that will not happen."

He added: "We're well past 216."

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer released a statement on the abortion compromise, saying that "the President is grateful for the tireless efforts of leaders on both sides of this issue to craft a consensus approach that allows the bill to move forward."

Full text of the statement and Obama's executive order is here.

Posted by: omaarsblade | March 21, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous why should we deny poor or middle class women an abortion? Abortion IS A LEGAL OPTION. I am tired of the Democrats pandering to the radical right, even radical right wing Democrats like Stupak.
Trust me, if men could become pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament!

Posted by: Chessie2 | March 21, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I really thought this was an exception Congressman, one who was principled enough to forget party lines.

Unfortunately, he is not worth the paper the Obama "executive order" is written on. He really cannot believe that Obama will uphold his "executive order"; Obama will be able to hold it over Stupak during all upcoming legislation.

Sad, sad, sad.

Lots of credibility problems in Wash. DC.

Posted by: pjcafe | March 21, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse


NOTICE: For those who don't want to use healthcare----DON'T!

For the rest of us who have worked all our lives to obtain reasonable healthcare at an affordable cost, today is a good day for patriotic Americans who believe in common sense for the common good.



Posted by: benighse | March 21, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Sad day for America.

When bribery, coersion, back room deals, lying, broken promises and idle threats are the rule of the day, no one wins.

Although the GOP has used similar tactics, none to this magnitude. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Just one of many broken promises made by Obama is that he would change the way things are done in Washington. We thought he meant for the better not worse.

It's been a great 250 year ride America!

Posted by: thehamptons1 | March 21, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

they can't be that dumb. If Obama is willing to do this with an Exec Order, why can't he do it before any vote? Answer, because he's the most pro-choice person to serve in congress in the last what 8 years?

Don't buy it!

Posted by: Veretax | March 21, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Now I wonder HOW Obama is going to pull this off so that all of these Democrats are going to still be around in November? You KNOW he had to promise them something because they all KNOW that the American people will vote them OUT of office come November. Don't be surprised if they move on the Amnesty bill rather quickly after this Obamacare bill passes. This is a TOTAL confiscation of our RIGHTS as US Citizens. Next thing you know, the illegals will be able to vote and they will be voting for the Democrats. Don't be fooled by this grab at power.

Posted by: JumpingJackFlash | March 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

a few more earmark promises to stupid? these people have no honor,ethics or consideration for this countries well being

Posted by: pofinpa | March 21, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Bart Stupak actually believes what OBAMA promises..............bye bye Stupak

Posted by: ohgrover | March 21, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jrvaughan | March 21, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The results of this health care decision will be horrible.

Posted by: servant119b | March 21, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Stu-pid-ak, you do realize that an Executive Order is meaningless, don't you? Obama can rescind it any time he wants--like tomorrow.

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | March 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

One by one the cowards cave in.

It is not Catholic moralism it is cowardness.

A fatal weakness in body and mind.

Sad he was ever elected in the first place.

Posted by: JustSomeThoughts | March 21, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Making a deal with the Devil, that would be Stupak, is rather stupid. The man is a "C" street Church Nazi who supports a bunch of "little boy loving roman bishops and their disgusting habits. Long live evil.

Posted by: frluke | March 21, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Democrats Reach Deal with Stupak

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), along with his supporters, have reached a deal with the White House on an executive order on abortion that looks like it gives House Democrats the necessary votes to pass the health care bill.

Stupak announced their deal at a 4 p.m. press conference, noting he thought House leaders had already lined up the 216 votes they needed even before this deal.

Posted by: omaarsblade | March 21, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

RobT1 and happyday3---Please explain to me exactly how the bill and the executive order overturn the Hyde amendment. You claim the President of lying while you do similar --this law will NOT CHANGE the law regarding federal funding of abortion.

Posted by: kgb1 | March 21, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I guess all the pressure finally got to Stupak. I mean come on a executive order is all it took for him to cave? He knows as well as everyone that an executive oder can easily be repealed by the next president or even by Obama himself if he so chooses. Stupak had been whining and crying about how much pressure he's under and I guess it all finally got to him. Not suprising. Democrats don't have any real principals any way. See Dennis Kucinich. Obamacare brings for the first time the government funding of abortion and will be the most pro abortion bill ever passed by the U.S. Congress. And Stupak knows this.

Posted by: RobT1 | March 21, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a deceitful person. He lies.

Too bad for the "taxpayers" Stupak and gang of 6 are voting yes. More money to Planned Parenthood, HMOs, and private health insurance and less money to the taxpayers. Corporate America wins.......

The Democrats are a sell out.

We need to clean house.


Posted by: happyday3 | March 21, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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