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House passes health care measure following executive-order deal opposed by bishops

Catholic World News - March 22, 2010

The US House of Representatives voted 219-212 on March 21 to approve the $940-billion Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act after the White House and pro-life Democrats agreed on the language of an executive order.

President Barack Obama will state in the order that the measure “maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges.” The executive order will also state that “longstanding Federal laws 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.”

“We've consulted with legal experts on the specific idea of resolving the abortion funding problems in the Senate bill through executive order. We know members have been looking into this in good faith, in the hope of limiting the damage done by abortion provisions in the bill,” said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the US bishops’ secretariat of pro-life activities. “Unfortunately, this proposal does not begin to address the problem, which arises from decades of federal appellate rulings that apply the principles of Roe v. Wade to federal health legislation.”

“According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding,” Doerflinger added. “The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation.”

“Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.”

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Mar. 22, 2010 8:04 PM ET USA

    Now the Catholic Hospital Assn can stick their heads back in the sand and hold their hands out for the fetal curettes to be placed in their palms.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Mar. 22, 2010 3:29 PM ET USA

    Get ready for more after shocks. Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Amnesty) and Cap and Tax are next. Obama is on a roll!!!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Mar. 22, 2010 1:39 PM ET USA

    In which the "pro-life Democrats" demonstrate which is more important to them, their principle or their party.

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Mar. 22, 2010 7:46 AM ET USA

    I woke up this morning to a different country. What the heck do we do now? Will my tax dollars be funding this horror?

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