Agreement in Abortion Debate: Stupak Deal Stinks

Executive order inflames one side; 'yea' votes enrage the other
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2010 1:19 AM CDT
Rep. Stupak announces he'll back the health care reform bill after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order reaffirming the ban on the use of federal funds to provide abortions.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – Activists on both sides of the abortion issue slammed a deal crucial to the passage of health care reform in the House. President Obama agreed to trade a reaffirmation of the ban on federal funding for abortion for the support of key House Democrats, led by Bart Stupak of Michigan. Obama will issue an executive order about the measure "that will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion," a White House statement said.

The promise of an executive order ensured the support of a group of anti-abortion Democrats who had withheld support to secure more explicit limits on abortion funding, Fox News reports. But it infuriated NOW, whose leaders said in a statement they are "incensed" that Obama caved to Stupak, calling his commitment to reproductive rights "shaky at best." Anti-abortion groups also slammed Stupak and the other pro-life Democrats who agreed to the compromise. The National Right to Life Committee said anyone "who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves 'pro-life.'"

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