According to Stupak's official government website, we read:
Since last summer Stupak and other pro-life members of Congress insisted that health care reform maintain current law of no federal funding for abortion. Stupak and other pro-life members of Congress made clear that on its own, H.R. 3590 would implement a dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage and recognize abortion as a benefit in a federal health plan. However, after intense negotiations with Stupak and other pro-life Democrats, President Obama announced he would sign an Executive Order reaffirming the Hyde amendment could not be circumvented and that no taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for health plans that cover abortion.
In addition, Stupak engaged in a colloquy on the House floor Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to further enter into the record Congress’ intent that the Hyde provisions of no public funding for abortion will apply to H.R. 3590.
“I have said from the start I would not vote for health care reform without adequate protections in place to make sure the current law of no federal funding for abortion is maintained,” Stupak said. “The president’s Executive Order upholds the principle that federal funds should not be used to subsidize abortion coverage.” The president will sign the Executive Order following the signing of H.R. 3590.
That supposed assurance has been challenged and refuted, and again I will not attempt to explain the legal rationale. However, it came to my attention that Planned Parenhood was rejoicing in the passage of the new bill, and that alarmed me. If they are rejoicing, then they must see a loophole or a good possibility that funding for abortion remains a strong possibility. On their website they state:
Thanks to supporters like you, we were able to keep the Stupak abortion ban out of the final legislation and President Obama did not include the Stupak language in his Executive Order. Unfortunately, the bill includes the Nelson amendment that will impose new and severe restrictions on private health insurance coverage for abortion for millions of women. While we celebrate the passage of health care reform, we're going to need your commitment to fix the damage caused by the Nelson amendment — and that starts right now.
My fear remains that the pro-choice forces will eventually prevail in having this bill provide funding for abortions, and that is morally objectionable in the highest way, for it forces those of us opposed to this legalized form of murder to pay for it by way of our own taxes.
The Hyde Amendment referenced above is not a guarantee that future federal dollars will not eventually be used to pay for abortions. In fact, at the link above I discovered that several states already provide such funding either on a voluntary or court-ordered basis. Also, the Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but merely a 'rider' attached to legislation from time to time.
Hopefully the pressure will remain to hold the line, especially with the upcoming Fall elections. Still, much mischief can sneak in when no one is looking....