Obama Signs Executive Order On Abortion–With A Catch

On March 25, 2010, in Health Care, by Trenton Hansen

Well, Barack Obama did it.

He succeeded in making Bart Stupak look like a complete idiot. I’m not too sure that would be hard to do. As Moe Lane at Red State put it,

“Now, it’s like this. It’s one thing to be a prostitute. It’s another thing to be a cheap prostitute. It’s yet a third thing to be a cheap prostitute who accepts Monopoly money. But to be a cheap prostitute who gets stiffed on your Monopoly money? That takes skill.”

Almost ruined my keyboard with a mouthful of water when I read that.

So what I am getting to? The AP has released this story about Obama’s fulfillment of his promise to Bart Stupak that he would sign an Executive Order that would prohibit the use of federal funds for abortions in return for Stupak’s vote for the health care reform bill.

AP Special Correspondent David Espo writes,

WASHINGTON – Anything but jubilant, President Barack Obama awkwardly kept a promise Wednesday he made to ensure passage of historic health care legislation, pledging the administration would not allow federal funds to pay for elective abortions covered by private insurance.

Where’s the catch? It covers only those elective abortions covered by private insurance. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 13% of all abortions in 2001 were billed to private insurance. Additionally, the vast majority of abortions are obtained by single women, living below the poverty line. The women in this demographic are the same group that are most likely to not have private insurance, but are on some kind of government assistance. They cannot pay for abortions through Medicaid, but they can use state funds in several states. In other words, the women most likely to have elective abortions are the very people that ObamaCare was designed to cover (that is, when those provisions finally do actually kick in, four years from now), because of a lack of private insurance.

Barack Obama’s magnanimous promise to Bart Stupak will likely prevent federal funds from being used for only about 15% of all abortions. And that might still be a generous percentage.

6 Responses to “Obama Signs Executive Order On Abortion–With A Catch”

  1. rmwarnick says:

    In 2008, candidate Obama campaigned against the Hyde Amendment.

    Rep. Stupak just handed anti-abortion extremists the biggest victory they have had in decades. Nothing changes in terms of policy, but it’s a political setback for progressives. President Obama just broke a campaign promise, and reaffirmed an unjust policy.

    When the individual mandate (a Republican idea) kicks in in 2014, everyone will be required to spend their own money on private health insurance policies. But because these policies will be federally subsidized, Obama’s executive order prohibits them from covering reproductive services.

    As Rachel Maddow said recently, “Why bother making it illegal if you can just make it impossible to get?”

  2. Nate says:

    To rmwarnick: “Anti-abortion extremists” may just be the dumbest phrase I’ve ever heard. So a person who doesn’t want a baby sucked out in pieces with a vacuum is a fanatical zealot, but the person doing the killing is a moderate? I hope it is a “political setback for progressives.” That phrase shows the true nature of the abortion debate. It is, in fact, a political power struggle for those who support abortion, and a morally repugnant act for those who oppose it. No legislation will change that.

  3. rmwarnick says:

    The anti-abortion people are actually advocating forced pregnancy. That’s an extreme position, which has been rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

  4. Richard, your argument is what is extreme…extremely silly. In fact, that’s the dumbest argument I have ever heard in the abortion debate.

    According to the Guttmacher Institute, Rape and Incest combined were responsible for 1% of all abortions in 2001. Those are the only cases that can be honestly referred to as “forced pregnancies.” In those rare instances where rape or incest do cause a pregnancy, the vast majority of anti-abortion activists do not question a woman’s right to terminate the pregnancy. Yes, there are some few exceptions, but they are a small minority.

    The remaining 99% of abortions are for convenience only. To claim that the choice to have sex somehow results in a forced pregnancy is ludicrous. This is just railing against biology, a futile exercise common with immature minds. Sex causes pregnancy, Richard. Have you not talked to your parents about this yet?

    We are built for reproduction. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should take it up with Mother Nature. Frankly, it exposes the utterly irresponsible nature of the pro-abortion argument: “I won’t exercise self-discipline enough to prevent pregnancy, despite the myriad ways to do that, AND I refuse to accept the consequences of my actions.” This is precisely why Conservatives so often refer to Progressives and Liberals as intellectual children. That level of immaturity is certainly on full-color display in your argument.

    And finally, the Supreme Court never made that argument. What you claim is solely an inference from the legality of abortion which you then take to a ridiculous extreme. Your argument also betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Constitution and the role of the Court. Laws and policies may be judged constitutional or unconstitutional. Opinions, however, are not subject to the rulings of the Court.

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  6. JMyste says:

    Trenton, I hate agreeing with you on anything, because I feel it makes me look bad and takes credit from my position. However, your response to Richard is pretty good. I wish people would put aside the reasons why one would have abortions and focus more on what an abortion is. That answer to that question (or even the lack of it) is a prerequisite to understanding if it is wrong.

    I do not want to take a hard stance on this issue here, but I would like to point out the fact that it is usually a selfish response to an irresponsible act. The rest of the time, it is a selfish response to something else. If pro-choice advocates do not admit this, then arguing with them on complicated ramifications and the morality of committing the act seems pointless.


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