President Obama is being accused of an Obamacare double cross by a Democrat, former Rep. Bart Stupak, whose crucial vote for the president’s signature law was obtained after presidential promises that the public would be protected from demands for abortion funding.
Stupak posted a commentary in USA Today this week to announce he’s filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Green and Hahn families, who own the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood companies.
The companies are suing to not be forced by Obamacare to fund abortifacients for employees.
Stupak had opposed Obamacare because of its requirement that the public pay for abortions. Obama reached an agreement with Stupak, because the massive federal bill had absolutely no support from Republicans in Congress.
Obama agreed to an executive order that would exempt anyone from funding abortions.
The bill signed into law by the president, nevertheless, requires employer health insurance plans to fund abortifacients and abortion.
Now, Stupak says he likes Obamacare overall but thinks the abortion requirement is wrong.
He wrote in USA Today that he was proud to vote for Obamacare, because it was to provide 32 million Americans with access to health care.
But today, “as a private citizen, I’m proud to stand with the Green and Hahn families and their corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, in seeking to uphold our most cherished beliefs that we, as American citizens, should not be required to relinquish our conscience and moral convictions in order to implement the Affordable Care Act.”
He said his position that Obamacare helps reform the nation’s health care markets and provides a safety net hasn’t changed.
But he said his objection is to the Obamacare mandate that forces businesses and their owners to cover “methods of contraception that may cause the abortion of new embryos: new human beings.”
“During the battle over the ACA’s passage, pro-life Democratic members of Congress negotiated with the president to ensure that the act would not be employed to promote abortion. During the final debate on the Affordable Care Act, I engaged in a colloquy with Chairman Henry Waxman reaffirming that Americans would not be required to pay for abortions or violate their conscience by participating in or promoting a procedure they find morally objectionable. In response, we received an ironclad commitment that our conscience would remain free and our principles would be honored. With our negotiations completed and our legislative intent established by the colloquy, we agreed to an executive order directing federal agencies to respect America’s longstanding prohibitions on government funding of abortion and most relevant here, to respect longstanding protections for individuals and organizations conscientiously opposed to participating in or facilitating abortions,” he wrote.
He explained he wants the Supreme Court to rule that the companies and their Christian owners are not required to provide contraceptives that “could terminate human life at its earliest stages.”
Stupak said his stance is supported widely across America, which has a “strong and broad tradition of protecting those who object to participating in taking human life.”
Such provisions, he said, date to Gen. George Washington, who exempted Quakers from bearing arms.
Stupak said the executive order Obama signed “ordered federal agencies to comply with all these protections,” but it doesn’t explain how the mandate came to be included.
He urged the Supreme Court to “recognize and uphold” a balance between “improving health care options,” and “respecting … a moral conscience that no one can violate, not even the federal government.”
Commentator Ed Morrissey at Hot Air pointed out that Stupak was “the one man who might have stopped Obamacare at the final hour.”
He expresses little sympathy for Stupak’s claim now that “he got shafted.”
“Stupak had held out for statutory prohibitions on abortion funding through Obamcare but settled instead for an ambiguous executive order … now he’s unhappy because his fellow Democrats promised him they’d respect conscience objections.”
Morrissey said he’s sorry to see Stupak “shocked, shocked about being betrayed, but that’s the way most of us felt about Rep. Stupak when he caved on his principles in the first place.”