By John Jalsevac

June 15, 2010 ( – In a meeting with President Obama last week, House Republican Leader John Boehner asked for an update about the implementation of the president’s Executive Order (EO), which purports to block abortion funding in the federal health care bill.

The EO was offered by Obama during 11th hour negotiations prior to the final vote on ObamaCare. It proved to be the carrot that convinced Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak and his cadre of pro-life Democrats to cast their crucial votes in favor of the controversial legislation.

But as Boehner staffer Kevin Boland explained on Boehner’s official blog last week: “Abortion opponents widely viewed the EO as a disingenuous maneuver made by the Administration in the final hours of the health care fight to buy off ‘pro-life’ Democrats instead of passing the anti-abortion Stupak amendment, which would have prevented federal subsidies for abortion under ObamaCare.”

In fact, the EO was almost universally condemned as woefully inadequate by pro-life groups. These sentiments were confirmed when Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards issued a statement celebrating the passage of the health care bill and illustrating the abortion-related executive order as a merely ”symbolic gesture.”

Now there are concerns that whatever meaningful provisions the order does contain may not be implemented in a timely fashion, or at all.

In his meeting with Obama Boehner pointed out that in a recent “progress report” about the implementation of the health care bill, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius made no mention of the order.

According to Michael Steel, spokesman for Boehner's office, “The president indicated that he would provide some kind of an update on the implementation of the executive order.”

According to Citizenlink, Steel added that “There is no indication that they are moving in any way to implement the executive order in an effective way or a meaningful way.”

“What I fear is that the effect is as we suspected at the time, that there is no effect at all of this executive order.”

Boehner had asked once before for an update on the EO, in a May 13 letter to Sebelius. In that letter Boehner asked: “Has the Department provided guidance to states to implement the president’s Executive Order on abortions?  When does the Administration expect to issue the directive on abortions?  Will the new federal high-risk pools touted by the Administration also ensure that abortions will not be covered?” 

Bohner pointed out to Sebelius that “Millions of Americans care deeply about this aspect of the new law and its implementation, and no progress report is complete without detailed information about it.”

Thus far there has been no response to that letter.


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