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Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

White House Divide-and-Conquer-Stupak-Bloc Strategy



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One of the options the Democrats are looking at is an executive order to get their last votes.

But this seems highly unlikely to work in any real and enduring sense to change the underlying policy from what’s in the Senate bill regarding funding of abortions.

For starters, the Democrats say the Senate bill already satisfies the test of staying true to Hyde. So what are the odds that they are going to be willing to accept real Stupak-like language overnight? The president’s “base” would go crazy, one would think. So that seems like a real stretch.

Moreover, an executive order isn’t even as tight as a regulation. It can be rescinded in a day, by a new president, for instance. There’s no guarantee at all it would survive over time. Plus it would be up to the executive branch to enforce it, not the courts.

It seems clear that the White House is trying to divide the Stupak group, and provide another fig leaf for some of them. Let’s hope it doesn’t work. If the Stupak group really wants to prevent funding of elective abortions, the only way to do so is by passing a Hyde-like amendment into law. Anything short of that would almost surely lead, in time, to direct federal funding of abortion-on-demand.



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