The Washington Post reports that,
“House Democrats are working with the White House to craft an executive order that would clarify President Obama’s intention to maintain a long-standing ban on federal funding of abortion, congressional Democrats said.”
Stephen Dillard reports at First Things that Bart Stupak has agreed to vote “yes” on healthcare reform contingent upon adequate wording in an executive order. Kathryn Jean Lopez is also reporting that agreement has been reached on the executive order approach.
If this reporting bears out, then healthcare reform will indeed pass today.
How are pro-lifers evaluating this approach? The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, and the Family Research Council all agree that “any executive order President Obama makes on abortion cannot override a law duly passed by Congress.” Read their statements here.
I share the concerns of these pro-life groups. Moreover, I don’t see how an executive order can be considered a permanent “fix” to this bill’s abortion problems. Executive orders can be undone as quickly as they are done, and another president (perhaps this President!) could revoke or modify the order. If that were to happen, healthcare reform would remain the law of the land, but the prohibition on tax-payer funded abortions would not.