Stupak: Duped or Caved?

The longer I look at this the worse it looks. The executive order that Stupak is relying on to bar federal funding for abortion clearly isn’t going to work. As Bill Burck and Dana Perino have noted,

“Executive orders have the force of law only within the executive branch and only to the extent they are consistent with legislation.  Stupak believes that the Senate bill does not do enough to prohibit the use of federal funds; what he apparently does not realize is that the executive order can do no more to prohibit use of federal funds for abortion than the Senate bill does.”

Could Stupak really have been duped into believing that the order would work? I find it difficult to believe that Stupak and the other pro-life Democrats don’t know the limited value of an executive order. He has been so heroic up to this point, it’s also hard to accept that he might actually know better and has just decided to cave-in on his pro-life position. In any case, the sad result is the same—a bill that provides for tax-payer funded abortions.

Here’s what others are saying:

“Stupak has allowed himself to be tricked into supporting a bill that he disagrees with on the basis of an executive order that does precisely nothing to alleviate his concerns.” –Bill Burck and Dana Perino

“If Rep. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats were not satisfied with the protections against taxpayer funding of abortion in the Senate bill (as they rightly were not), there is simply nothing in the text of the order that should change their minds.” –Yuval Levin

“This anti-abortion EO is blatant chicanery: if the pro-lifers purport to be satisfied by it, they are participating in a transparent fraud and selling out the pro-life cause.” –Andy McCarthy


  • Brian Krieger

    I know it’s easy to cast stones, but legislators, I would think, know this. The Mexico City policy was an EO, so it’s not that long since we’ve seen a sitting president rescind an order. I can’t imagine this was lost on Stupak and his advisors.). This allows Stupak to say that “I fought hard and that was the one who allowed the funds to be funneled to abortion, not me.” Very sad.

  • Kelly

    While I am, in contrast to Mr. Krieger, happy with this (and I agree with his assessment of the politics of Rep. Stupaks thinking (I’m still supporting his primary opponent for putting up through all of this) the vote will be over soon, and it will stand. Will seats be lost in Nov? Sure, but, please remember, About HALF of the country is THRILLED with this, and once something like this is set in motion, it really can’t be stopped.

    Mr. Steyn at National Review pretty much nailed the situation.
    It’s about to voted on. Time to move on. Immigration reform (among other things) need attending to.

  • Brian Krieger

    I don’t know if half are given that HC is what has caused the dip to below 50% on Obama’s approval rating (and some polls show 30-something percent approval of the bill itself).

    I wonder if it will get challenged constitutionally by any (or many?) of the states. I suppose I hope so. I’m not quite content to actively fund the abortion mill (when the EO gets overturned).

  • Kelly

    the most recent gallup poll has his polls up quite a bit actually, and another recent poll had the people split abot even on support for and against the health reform bill. And his base is now excited and pleased beyond belief. I had been losing faith in him. Not now! This is the fulfillment (it ain’t voted on quite yet) of a dream many decades old.

    There will be challenges. They will not hold up.

    From what I have seen, this will not have your money paying for anyone elses abortion….but, it will allow those who want such coverage for themselves, their wives and daughters to get it (much like most private policies do now). If you don’t want it, don’t get it.

  • Derek

    And about 150 years ago, the slave holding south said, “if you don’t want slaves, don’t own ’em”.

    You don’t get it. It’s not about you. It’s not about us. It’s about innocent life being ripped to shreds and thrown into trash bags. Thousands, every day.

  • Stephen

    It’s repulsive for anyone to try to use the analogy of slavery to argue against health care reform. I’m not sure if you noticed but all the civil rights heroes in congress voted FOR this bill. 2,800 black Americans die every year from lack of health care. Thank God this bill passed, maybe that number will start to drop.

  • Kelly

    Derek, your out of order, and the comparison does not work, nor will it be the legal framework we will be working with. Adjust to the legal realities. And you should be embarassed for being so out of touch that you seem to imply that all of american even agrees with you that the basic premise that a fetus is in any way equal to a born person in terms of legal rights is somehow the “concensus”. There are whole denominations of Christians who are pro choice, remember? Have your own opinions and do what you want with your own reproductive life, but don’t delude yourself into thinking you will be telling me what to do with mine.

    It’t not about fetuses. Its not about us. It is about every womand right to choose. Thousands, every day. Just like in nation where it is illegal…and the women suffer because of it.

    This is not a debate.
    This is not a discussion. This is you You are being informed.

  • Nate

    Stephen, Far more black children are killed in the womb each year that 2,800. In fact, african americans account for the highest percentage of abortions based on population size, so your argument is naive.

    Kelly: If anyone is out of order it is you. And by the way, your own reproductive life? Like you can have a baby all by yourself as if you are god. Your egg doesn’t fertilize on its own. Please! Adjust to the legal realities? Abortions were illegal before 1973, so why didn’t the abortion-rights advocates simply deal with the legal realities at that time.

  • Sam

    Representative Stupak is no friend to americans who believe in the right to life, In the end he decided it was necessary to vote with the majority to ensure that he could count on the democratic base to support his reelection, If representative stupek thinks he can hide what really transpired he’s just kidding himself, properly for the first time in his political career he will be attacked by pro life groups and defended by pro abortion groups, mr stupak theirs no place to hide.

  • Derek

    There is a very close connection between the way the southern slave owning states talked about and treated slaves (as if they were private property) and the way pro-abortionists talk about fetuses (as if they were private property).

    Both were and are heavily invested in diminishing or abolishing the human rights status of these marginalized human beings. Both will be held to account one day by God.

  • Matthew Staton

    Some use the slavery or holocaust as discussion-ending trump cards and that does not seem helpful.

    But I believe there is a common element to slavery, the holocaust, and abortion (and the Rwandan genocide and other such historical events). The common element is humans without a voice, and those humans being oppressed or killed.

    I realize that part of the debate itself is whether unborn babies are humans. A person who does not agree that they are will find the the comparison to be begging the question. But a person who does believe that unborn babies are humans necessarily believes that many thousands of babies are being legally put to death each year. I am one such person.

    My understanding is that this health care bill provides funding for abortions, which will lead to more, not less. This causes me anguish. It will be good for some, but how can it be worth the cost?

  • Kelly

    Everyone agreed slavery was wrong….even slave owners called it “The peculiar institution”.

    In contrast Derek ( I seldom bother to respond to Darius, who is good mainly for humor as I see it) I have a completely, totally clean conscious concerning this. My denomination and church agree, and my work as a clinic escort has only strengthened my thoughts on this. I DO understand why you feel otherwise (I used to agree with you) and respect the thought process/reasoning that lead you to your current position on the issue.

    That said, to compare this issue to slavery is just stupid, and no, I don’t admire stupidity. To compare the slavery of human beings to the punishing a wowman who does not want to carry a fetus to term DOES make a good comparison in my view, however.

    Just refering to a fetus a s human being will not make it so. Just assuming that all of the Church (big C, universal) agree with you is a fallacy that shows how out of touch you are.


    Not in the law. Not to me. Not to the millions of women who need/want to have abortions.

    As I said earlier, I am not interested in debating what is to me a settled issue concerning a womans right to choose. I am informing you of the way this society will be going forward.

    PS. I am ordained, and I have a degree in biology…so, unless you have a desire to waste your valuable time, dont bother with either the theological or biological/embryological arguments. I have heard them all. Thanks.

  • Derek

    Kelly said:

    Everyone agreed slavery was wrong… even slave owners called it “The peculiar institution”.

    Not true, Kelly. In fact, many preachers and seminaries of the slavery era justified its existence by pointing to Scriptures such as I Peter 2:18. Even others propagated an insidious myth, that the black race was under God’s judgment and therefore would always serve whites.

    Sometimes, the devil’s most effective, destructive and persuasive lies are spread and perpetuated by men and women of the cloth.

  • Nate

    “As I said earlier, I am not interested in debating what is to me a settled issue concerning a womans right to choose. I am informing you of the way this society will be going forward.

    PS. I am ordained, and I have a degree in biology…so, unless you have a desire to waste your valuable time, dont bother with either the theological or biological/embryological arguments.”

    Wow, thanks for the heads up! Did you also stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

    Please… If you didn’t want to get debated you should have stayed off this forum.

  • Ben

    Kelly (#14):

    Concerning the arguments, if you’ve “heard them all”, I’m interested in how you reply to Leon Kass’ argument that a logic which allows for abortion also allows for a logic of “not worthy to be born” = “not worthy to live”.

    To summarize (and oversimplify) Dr. Kass’ argument: assuming you believe infanticide to be wrong, in what way is abortion okay? Or, to put it in reverse, why is abortion okay, but infanticide not?

    If, perchance, you’re not familiar with Leon Kass, he gave a series of lectures at Princeton University for their James Madison series back in late 2006. The lectures are still available on the Princeton website.

  • Stephen

    Let’s limit the details of the abortion debate to those with a uterus.

    However, I’ll respond to one thing: France has socialized medicine and half the rate of abortions as the us. Germany has socialized medicine and has 5 times fewer abortions. I could go on…

    The fact is that poverty is the number one correlating factor to abortion. Thus, is you REALLY are intersted in reducing abortions, you should advocate for socialized health care. But it’s not about that is it? It’s about a bunch of white guys trying to control other people.

  • Nate

    Your right Stephen, because Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) and one of the founders of abortion advocacy never wrote or spoke about sterilizing the black population and the poor.

  • Darius

    Nate, don’t fall for Stephen’s tricks. He’s an ignorant troll who would rather fight with half-facts, partial truths, and ad hominem retorts than actually understand the truth.

    Kelly, are you serious? Slavery was hardly the social pariah that it is now. A little historical research would do you a ton of good.

  • Matthew Staton

    But it’s not about that is it? It’s about a bunch of white guys trying to control other people.

    Stephen, I’m interested to read that remark. If I thought that, I myself would be strongly pro-choice.

    I realize some people react very strongly to this sort of comparision, but here is how I see it: In Rwanda, the Hutu agitators for violence against the Tutsis started saying that the Tutsis were not people, that they were cockroaches, and that they needed to be exterminated. This is a pattern in genocide, namely, dehumanizing the group of people being killed.

    I get the impression feel as if you are standing against a crowd of “white guys” who are attempting to subjugate women. In contrast, those of us who feel that unborn babies are people sometimes feel as if we are standing against a crowd of people who cry “fetuses are not humans” and we are saying “no! babies are humans.”

    Don’t hear me wrong. I am not saying you are calling unborn babies cockroaches and are on a mission to exterminate them. I am quite certain you are not. But I feel just as certain that the victims are babies who are humans and who do not have a voice. This belief requires me to speak up for them. If I had been there in Rwanda, I hope I would have stood up and said, “No! Humans!” So, too, with babies. Some say “fetus: not human” and I say “No, Human!”

  • Kelly

    1) Sorry Ben, we wont be using that straw man arguement about infantacide. (thought I agree not all life is worth living…thus the need for more assisted suicide laws). You can quote a visitor to Princeton….I would quote their leading ethicist. 🙂

    2) Nate, as I said, I am not debating you. I am Pointing Out The Realities You Will Live With. You will be adjusting to them, for you will never tell me how to live my life. Understand that. Or live outside of reality.
    I mentioned my theological and biological education to save you some time before you started on all the “it has DNA, it’s a person” etc. etc. etc. No other reason.

    3) While there were second rate varieties of Christianit that supported slavery (the work, shamefully, of ‘Rev’ Robinson comes to mind) most people in the early colonial period supported it. Only after wilberforce and other great Christian men and women did a LOT of work did public perception change. I know history. You are correct in one thing…I am well aware that not “Everyone” felt slavery was wrong. A misstatement on my part, although from the beginning, people knew it was not right….thus even slaveholders have that name…”the peculiar institution” and it was debated hotly even before independence.

    4) Mr Staton, say whatever you want…call them whatever you want…Just don’t impinge on others civil rights and tell them what they can do with their own reproductive lives. IF you do, Expect to get shouted down as you stand in that group. We on the left are really not interested in hearing the other sides arguements…(for the 1000th time)

    Once again. Not here to debate.
    Here to inform and teach.
    Yeah, I know how that sounds. And I also know how much I appreciated the person who was just so blunt to me once when I was protesting against abortion rights about 20 years ago.

  • Chris

    Sorry Kelly but human life is human life. If you believe in the sovereignty of God, than any biological argument that a fetus or even a fertilized egg is not a human life cannot stand. What that position says is that God does not know what he is doing and does not know whether a fertilized egg will produce a human or not. That he has not already counted the hairs on its head, and planned long ago to form him/her in the womb!

    Its amazing how selfishness can distort! It’s not YOUR body, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit and a gift from The Father!

    That being said God gifted humanity with free will. You can choose to kill or be complicit in a killing if you want!

  • Stephen

    Like I said before, I’ll let the one person in this discussion with a uterus have the last word on all that. But I’m curious why no one has responded to the fact that countries with socialized medicine have fewer abortions?

  • Denny Burk


    The United States has some of the most liberal abortion laws of anywhere on the planet. Great Britain has socialized medicine, but they also have stricter abortion laws than the United States. Roe v. Wade and the subsequent Doe decision have made abortion legal in the U.S. at any stage of pregnancy, 0-9 months.

    America’s liberal abortion laws no doubt contribute to the higher abortion rate.


  • Stephen

    You might think that legality would be a strong correlating factor in # of abortions but that has shown to not be the case. In fact, where it is illegal, abortion does not decrease, but the number of women dying in the procedure raises dramatically. If you would like more info, check here:

    Further, 87% of counties in America don’t have 1 single doctor who will perform abortions (incluing all 31 stupak represents). So you can’t exactly say they are easy to get.

    I submit again that socialized medicine IS a correlating factor to reduced abortions. Anyone care to respond?

  • Denny Burk


    I’m arguing that abortion is a great moral evil. A just society does not make it legal to take the life of a whole class of human beings, yet that is precisely the situation in the U.S. Healthcare reform or no healthcare reform, abortion-on-demand is a grave evil.

    The reform that was passed yesterday exacerbates that evil by forcing tax-payers to participate in paying for it (through insurance exchanges and money for community health centers such as Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S.). Federal subsidies for abortion will enable more people to afford abortions. How will that reduce abortions?


  • Stephen

    Maybe this is where I should finally reveal that I too disagree with abortion. For different reasons than all of you though (and I definitely would not call it murder). What I am interested in is realistically looking at how to reduce abortions (a goal that even pres Obama agrees with). Making them illegal is not the way to reduce them.
    But socialized medicine… maybe?

  • Darius T

    Kelly, are you seriously saying that you listen to Dr. Singer’s ideas? Calling him an ethicist is like calling Hitler a benefactor of humanity. The guy thinks it’s cool to kill kids up to a certain age. Though I will give him this, he’s more logically consistent than 95% of the pro-abortion crowd.

  • Stephen


    You are looking at facts and blatantly misrepresenting them. According to the new bill, anyone who wants abortion coverage must pay for that on their own. But we both know that anyone could walk into a planned parenthood right now and get an abortion, even if they have no money (although they may have to travel a bit for it like I said above.)

    Every credible study has shown that poverty is the leading cause of abortion. You can’t reduce abortions without dealing with the issue of poverty. Period. If you make it illegal, all you will do is drive women underground.

    But the lack of any acceptance of that clearly established fact shows that this isn’t really about reducing abortions for you and the “religous right”. It’s about control. Otherwise you would support measures to reduce poverty (including health care reform).

  • Ben

    Kelly (#24)

    I’m merely curious as to how you respond to Dr. Kass’ proposition that a logic of “unfit to be born” = “unfit to live”. I’m also curious as to why you call it a straw man – the logic seems sound to me, as Dr. Singer seems to note. I’m not sure how I’m misrepresenting the pro-abortion position. (Which is my understanding of a “straw man”.)

    You state you are here to inform and teach. Like you, I’m not here to debate. But if you’re here to teach, then at least tell me why an infanticide argument is a straw man. You seem to presuppose a debate, when I’m simply curious as to your response.

    Politely, as of yet, I see your posts taking the tact of “this is the way it will be going forward”, and cutting off dialog. Is that really your version of “inform and teach”? Do you have anything to say other than some variation on “deal with it”?

  • Denny Burk


    Why are you against protecting the unborn’s right to life? You are excluding them from the human community by not supporting their right not to be killed.

    Are you content to reduce abortions but still have them to be legal?


  • Darius T

    Stephen, even if you’re right about how to reduce abortions, you have absolutely no idea how to reduce poverty. Pray tell, when has anyone been lifted out of poverty by a social program? It’s quite the opposite, once someone is on welfare, they are poor for life. If you really wanted to reduce poverty, then you’d want to expand economic freedom, rather than restrict it with this bill.

  • Stephen


    I feel like you’re trying to trap me in a word game while sidestepping my points, but I’ll go ahead and respond.

    I seriously doubt that you can espouse a robust doctrine of the image of God which includes what the Hebrew obviously intends – something about the community/relational aspect – without having some gray areas when it comes to the severely mentally handicapped and babies/the unborn. Anyone who thinks that their theology has eliminated all gray areas is deluding themselves.

    Personally, I take a virtue ethics approach, so the gray areas don’t bother me. I know that the Bible curves towards life, therefore christians have a responsibility to promote/support life, even potential life (the unborn). When the discussion is framed in this manner, it no longer becomes us (orthodox community) vs. them (apostate baby killers). Rather, the focus shifts – what can WE do to support life. The throwing stones/eye for an eye approach was abandoned by the leader of the Jesus movement (a guy named Yeshua). So what are we left with? Taking seriously the call to love our neighbors and enemies. And, determining the causes for abortion, which I have been arguing all along is mainly poverty.

    Which brings us back to you.

    p.s. we were at Criswell at the same time. Nice to chat with you again…

  • Nate

    Stephen: The cause for abortion is convenience. Convenience to avoid the situation. Convenience to hide our sin. Convenience to sin willfully. Convenience to not have to sacrifice. Convenience to reject accountability. Your argument of poverty is valid only in the sense that the impoverished see the convenience of abortion as a tool to avoid further poverty.

    Darius is exactly right. Government subsidized welfare controls poverty, but rarely allows the impoverished to rise out of their predicament. This is because the family is torn apart (married couples don’t get as much money – unwed mothers get more, etc).

    But at the core of the abortion issue is convenience – pure sinful convenience.

  • Stephen

    Honestly Nate, Darius, etc. I find your arguments so banal that I am uninterested in dialogue.

    Here is my one response: You all argued before HCR passed that it would lead to the deaths of non-productive members of society (eldery, babies). Now you are arguing against HCR reform because it WON’T let non-productive members of society die (the poor, those on welfare).

    Maybe your entire paradigm, centered on productivity, is f***ed up and non-biblical.

    That’s all – I won’t be responding again.

  • Darius

    “The throwing stones/eye for an eye approach was abandoned by the leader of the Jesus movement (a guy named Yeshua).”

    You’re right, he broke out the whip.

    Fine, run away and hide. Your ability to defend your anti-Biblical position was glaringly lacking, anyway.

  • Derek

    I’m compelled to comment that Stephen is doing a “drive by” scattershot comment that completely misrepresents what Nate and Darius are saying.

    No one is advocating for the poor and the sick to be tossed out of their hospital beds or to let “non-productive members of society die”. I also note that few if any civilizations on earth have provided as generous and as high quality of health care for its poor than the U.S.A. My wife is a nurse and has routinely cared for patients who are incredibly self destructive – heroin, alcohol, overeating, etc – and it is painful to see how little some of these folks appreciate how much treasure, time and talent has been spent on them. They receive world class health care, pay nothing, offer not even a grumbled “thank you”, walk out and buy more drugs. We are an incredibly generous nation and it makes me sick to hear lectures from pampered, self-centered people who know absolutely nothing of which they speak.

    Stephen, I know you hate it when people twist your words or paint them in the worst possible light – please show some respect to others as well.

  • Ben

    Nate (#38):

    My first impulse is to say that you’re oversimplifying the motivation for abortion, but I don’t know how you are classifying things.

    What sins would you say are NOT for convenience?

  • Nate

    Ben: Your certainly right that all sin at one level is a convenience issue (e.g. we want to sin). However, I do feel that the abortion issue is far more profound in advocating a convenient remedy to a pregnancy. Certainly the Morning After Pill makes having an abortion (or possibly having an abortion) very convenient. No need to even head to the doctor to perform an abortion after you find yourself to be pregnant. Simply flush any potential away. Stating that abortion is essentially based in convenience doesn’t necessarily imply that it is the motivation. Rather it implies that the availability (convenience) of the procedure allows the motivation of the person (to hide it, to avoid dealing with it, etc.) the ability to act on that motivation. Remove the convenient feature, limit the possibility.

  • John Holmberg


    Jesus “breaking out the whip” says absolutely nothing about “eye for an eye” vengeance and violence. You need to read those passages again. He drives out the animals with the whip.

    Why is this such a common response to Jesus’ non-violent nature? Not only is it wrong and a result of not reading the text carefully, but it is used as ammunition to annihilate other humans created in God’s image. That, I dare say, is tragic

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