The executive order

Here is the text of President Obama’s executive order that bans federal money in the new national health care system from paying for abortion. Part of it directs officials to come up with a way of “segregating” the money that comes from government subsidies from the money that individuals pay from their own pockets when it comes to abortion coverage. This is what persuaded Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) and other pro-life Democrats to vote for the bill. Read the order (it’s only one page). Do you think it will prevent abortions?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Josh V.

    Some thoughts that come to mind:

    1. Who determines and enforces the “when the life of the woman would be endangered” clause?

    2. Just as the executive order was made independent of the bill, couldn’t this president or any other just as easily issue another executive order overturning the first? Thus, considering the law doesn’t restrict the federal funding of abortion, the gates could be opened wide at the president’s discretion.

    3. What do all those General Provisions in section 4 mean?

  • Josh V.

    Some thoughts that come to mind:

    1. Who determines and enforces the “when the life of the woman would be endangered” clause?

    2. Just as the executive order was made independent of the bill, couldn’t this president or any other just as easily issue another executive order overturning the first? Thus, considering the law doesn’t restrict the federal funding of abortion, the gates could be opened wide at the president’s discretion.

    3. What do all those General Provisions in section 4 mean?

  • NavyMom

    An executive order isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if the President chooses to rescind it. Something tells me that BO, our most abortion-hungry president ever, never had any intention of honoring it. It was merely a gimmick to give turncoat Stupak and his minions “coverage”. A horrible day for America.

  • NavyMom

    An executive order isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if the President chooses to rescind it. Something tells me that BO, our most abortion-hungry president ever, never had any intention of honoring it. It was merely a gimmick to give turncoat Stupak and his minions “coverage”. A horrible day for America.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Not only can the executive order be rescinded at any time, it also cannot, Constitutionally speaking, override passed law. That’s Article 1 of the Constitution, and shame on Dear Leader for pulling this stunt. As a former instructor of Constitutional law, he should know better. Shame on Congressman Stupid (“oops,” Stupak) and others for falling for it. Aren’t Congressmen supposed to know the Constitution, too?

    So either Obama’s little order is worthless, or he’s trying to overturn the principle of Lex Rex, or both. Either way, it’s a dark day for American government, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum. I don’t want Barack Obama writing the law singlehandedly. Liberals don’t want my side doing it, either. We have checks and balances for a reason.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Not only can the executive order be rescinded at any time, it also cannot, Constitutionally speaking, override passed law. That’s Article 1 of the Constitution, and shame on Dear Leader for pulling this stunt. As a former instructor of Constitutional law, he should know better. Shame on Congressman Stupid (“oops,” Stupak) and others for falling for it. Aren’t Congressmen supposed to know the Constitution, too?

    So either Obama’s little order is worthless, or he’s trying to overturn the principle of Lex Rex, or both. Either way, it’s a dark day for American government, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum. I don’t want Barack Obama writing the law singlehandedly. Liberals don’t want my side doing it, either. We have checks and balances for a reason.

  • Lily

    Have you seen the video of Stupak that surfaced yesterday? It appears that Bart Stupak was never fully committed to preventing taxpayer funded abortion in a healthcare bill. Here is the video proof of him saying he would vote for a bill that includes taxpayer funded abortion at a townhall meeting last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EttLrekLTt8

    Stupak willfully and knowingly accepted the worthless executive order from Obama and his cronies. Did he think it might give him a fig leaf of cover with the pro=life groups? Thankfully, they aren’t buying it. The Susan B. Anthony group withdrew the Defender of Life award they had planned to give him this upcoming Wednesday. I hope voters will wise up and see Stupak for what he really is – a quisling.

  • Lily

    Have you seen the video of Stupak that surfaced yesterday? It appears that Bart Stupak was never fully committed to preventing taxpayer funded abortion in a healthcare bill. Here is the video proof of him saying he would vote for a bill that includes taxpayer funded abortion at a townhall meeting last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EttLrekLTt8

    Stupak willfully and knowingly accepted the worthless executive order from Obama and his cronies. Did he think it might give him a fig leaf of cover with the pro=life groups? Thankfully, they aren’t buying it. The Susan B. Anthony group withdrew the Defender of Life award they had planned to give him this upcoming Wednesday. I hope voters will wise up and see Stupak for what he really is – a quisling.

  • Jedidiah Maschke

    NavyMom, can you give me some background to why President Obama is “our most abortion-hungry president ever”? On what are you basing this?

  • Jedidiah Maschke

    NavyMom, can you give me some background to why President Obama is “our most abortion-hungry president ever”? On what are you basing this?

  • Manxman

    Americans aren’t supposed to be governed by executive orders. This is yet another end run on the Constitution by the Obama administration.

    Stupak and other faux pro-lifers bought off by this tricksy maneuver are pathetic.

  • Manxman

    Americans aren’t supposed to be governed by executive orders. This is yet another end run on the Constitution by the Obama administration.

    Stupak and other faux pro-lifers bought off by this tricksy maneuver are pathetic.

  • Lily

    Jedidiah, please let me offer you some info on Obama and why NARAL gives Obama a 100% rating as a pro-choice official. Please check out this link:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm

  • Lily

    Jedidiah, please let me offer you some info on Obama and why NARAL gives Obama a 100% rating as a pro-choice official. Please check out this link:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm

  • BradS

    It’s clear that this is intended only as a ‘fig leaf’ to cover those who want to call themselves pro-life to some degree. But like most fig leaves, I expect it will soon wither away.

  • BradS

    It’s clear that this is intended only as a ‘fig leaf’ to cover those who want to call themselves pro-life to some degree. But like most fig leaves, I expect it will soon wither away.

  • DonS

    The pro-abortion caucus in the House were absolutely apoplectic about amending the reconciliation bill to include similar Hyde Amendment-type language, and the Senate declared that it would not pass, just as the original Stupak amendment did not pass the Senate in December. Yet, nary a peep from this caucus concerning the Executive Order. I think that tells you all you need to know about its value.

  • DonS

    The pro-abortion caucus in the House were absolutely apoplectic about amending the reconciliation bill to include similar Hyde Amendment-type language, and the Senate declared that it would not pass, just as the original Stupak amendment did not pass the Senate in December. Yet, nary a peep from this caucus concerning the Executive Order. I think that tells you all you need to know about its value.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Alternatively, Don (@9), you could note that NARAL is “extremely disappointed” in this compromise and say that that tells you all you need to know about its value.

    Perhaps looking at any one group’s reaction for the totality of your information is a silly way to go about things.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Alternatively, Don (@9), you could note that NARAL is “extremely disappointed” in this compromise and say that that tells you all you need to know about its value.

    Perhaps looking at any one group’s reaction for the totality of your information is a silly way to go about things.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 10, my comment was shorthand, as you know. Anyone with a modicum of understanding of the law and the hierarchy of law knows that an executive order is the lowest and least effective form of federal governance there is. It is merely an administrative guideline outlining how the administration will enforce a particular statute during a given period of time. It cannot conflict with statutes, regulations, the constitution, or judicial interpretations of the constitution, which is why, in this case, as has been explained in earlier comments, it is already without legal effect because of court decisions related to Roe v. Wade. As you know, the courts have held that the federal government cannot carve out an exception for abortion in administering any generally applicable health care program unless statute specifically provides for that carve-out. Thus, the statute, which does not include a carve-out for abortion funding, controls, and the executive order was worthless before the ink dried. Moreover, as you know, executive orders may be rescinded or superseded at any time, without notice or comment, since they constitute only administrative guidance.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 10, my comment was shorthand, as you know. Anyone with a modicum of understanding of the law and the hierarchy of law knows that an executive order is the lowest and least effective form of federal governance there is. It is merely an administrative guideline outlining how the administration will enforce a particular statute during a given period of time. It cannot conflict with statutes, regulations, the constitution, or judicial interpretations of the constitution, which is why, in this case, as has been explained in earlier comments, it is already without legal effect because of court decisions related to Roe v. Wade. As you know, the courts have held that the federal government cannot carve out an exception for abortion in administering any generally applicable health care program unless statute specifically provides for that carve-out. Thus, the statute, which does not include a carve-out for abortion funding, controls, and the executive order was worthless before the ink dried. Moreover, as you know, executive orders may be rescinded or superseded at any time, without notice or comment, since they constitute only administrative guidance.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@11), your assertions about what I “know” are amusing, but not always correct. Nonetheless, I’ll thank you for your explanations and merely ask you: if all that you say is correct, why is NARAL, by their own words, “extremely disappointed”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@11), your assertions about what I “know” are amusing, but not always correct. Nonetheless, I’ll thank you for your explanations and merely ask you: if all that you say is correct, why is NARAL, by their own words, “extremely disappointed”?

  • DonS

    tODD @ 12: Fair enough. From now on, I won’t assume you know anything :-) .

    Seriously, hopefully my explanation concerning the worthlessness of an executive order in this context was helpful. As for NARAL , I can’t rightly tell you why they say ANYTHING that they say. But I assume that, given their fanatically pro-infanticide stance, they are “extremely disappointed” when anyone does anything except emphatically confirm Americans’ constitutional and unfettered right to kill babies without restriction. They also hate that courts have not held that the right requires government funding to ensure equal access by everyone regardless of means.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 12: Fair enough. From now on, I won’t assume you know anything :-) .

    Seriously, hopefully my explanation concerning the worthlessness of an executive order in this context was helpful. As for NARAL , I can’t rightly tell you why they say ANYTHING that they say. But I assume that, given their fanatically pro-infanticide stance, they are “extremely disappointed” when anyone does anything except emphatically confirm Americans’ constitutional and unfettered right to kill babies without restriction. They also hate that courts have not held that the right requires government funding to ensure equal access by everyone regardless of means.

  • CRB

    What I wonder is, what position does a Christian take in regard
    to paying or not paying a portion of taxes if it comes about that
    our taxes are indeed used to fund abortions? Seems to me
    that Scripture is clear about obeying God rather than men?!

  • CRB

    What I wonder is, what position does a Christian take in regard
    to paying or not paying a portion of taxes if it comes about that
    our taxes are indeed used to fund abortions? Seems to me
    that Scripture is clear about obeying God rather than men?!

  • https://thelastenemy.wordpress.com/ skyorrichegg

    CRB @ 14 As much as it pains me to say it you should continue to pay all your taxes as Romans 13 and elsewhere in the Bible is clear about where governmental authority stems from. Yes we are supposed to obey God but I do not feel that this a renouncing God or his laws situation, this is the government lawfully taking a portion of our money and then using it for lawful but incredibly immoral purposes. Because if the 1st century Christians were called to submit to Roman governmental authority even though their taxes would be going to official temples, conquests, and persecutions of other Christians, than I think I have to as well even though a portion of my income might be going to support the murder of children. This does not mean that I will sit idly by and let it happen though as I will continue to attempt to change our government, this is the beauty and great advantage that we have over our 1st century brothers and sisters: that we can work to change our government and make it better.

  • https://thelastenemy.wordpress.com/ skyorrichegg

    CRB @ 14 As much as it pains me to say it you should continue to pay all your taxes as Romans 13 and elsewhere in the Bible is clear about where governmental authority stems from. Yes we are supposed to obey God but I do not feel that this a renouncing God or his laws situation, this is the government lawfully taking a portion of our money and then using it for lawful but incredibly immoral purposes. Because if the 1st century Christians were called to submit to Roman governmental authority even though their taxes would be going to official temples, conquests, and persecutions of other Christians, than I think I have to as well even though a portion of my income might be going to support the murder of children. This does not mean that I will sit idly by and let it happen though as I will continue to attempt to change our government, this is the beauty and great advantage that we have over our 1st century brothers and sisters: that we can work to change our government and make it better.


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