In a forum at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, former Michigan Democratic congressman Bart Stupak made a surprising admission: The White House had walked away from the compromise it had earlier struck with him on the abortion language in Obamacare.
“I am perplexed and disappointed that, having negotiated the Executive Order with the President, not only does the HHS mandate violate the Executive Order but it also violates statutory law,” Stupak said at a forum hosted Tuesday by Democrats for Life, a pro-life group.
Stupak, a pro-life Democrat, famously held out against backing Obamacare. He insisted that an amendment he co-sponsored to ensure that the individual mandate for insurance coverage didn’t result in public funding for abortions remain in the bill despite objections from abortion-rights Democrats.
Support for the bill was so thin that his backing was crucial for House passage. After many negotiations with the administration – and a heaping amount of pressure from his fellow Democrats – Stupak signed off on a deal that included an Executive Order from the president essentially restating the his amendment’s language.
“All the safeguards we were looking for, the principle we fought for all these months, will be enforced through this Executive Order,” Stupak said at a press conference in March 2010 announcing the deal. “It’s a good agreement.”
At the time, others in the pro-life movement argued that Stupak had sold out. The compromise could be easily undone by the White House, they noted, because the president can revoke an Executive Order at any time.
Stupak appears to have belatedly realized his pro-life critics were right.