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Abortion Key in Health Care Opposition

Abortion is a key issue in opposition to Obama's health care bill. Many anti-abortion supporters from both the Republican and Democratic sides, lobbyists, and religious leaders are speaking out against the landmark health care bill freshly passed by Congress late Sunday night. President Obama addressed the issue of abortion in the health care bill with an executive order which prohibits federal funds to pick up the tab on abortions. Despite his best efforts, Obama's order does not thwart criticism of abortion and health care opposition. Catholics and Right to Life groups are outraged. A spokes person from Right to Life reported: "The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill."

Catholic bishops found to Obama's attempt to appease anti-abortion groups to be weak and short of the mark. The associate director of the bishops' conference's Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, Richard Doerflinger,spoke for the group and shared their disapproval in an interview: "Without seeing the details of the executive order, our conclusion has been that an executive order cannot override or change the central problems in the statute. Those need a legislative fix."

The bill allows for management of taxpayer funds and private premiums for abortion coverage but will not cover the cost of the procedure depending upon the health care plan. Funds received or given for abortions would be separate from taxpayers' monies. Individual states would still be allowed to discern abortion coverage and prohibit as necessary. Cases of rape, incest, and danger to the mother's life are the only exceptions.

Obama maintains that federal officials will be allowed to create their own guidelines to segregate private and public funds so that community health care centers do not use federal funds to cover abortions. Critics and opponents call Obama's statement an "accounting gimmick."

Republican Bart Stupak, who was derided with a "baby killer" insult at Congress' meeting Sunday night insists: "We cannot get more than 45 pro-life votes in the Senate. The bishops are right, statutory law is better than an executive order. We can't get there. So what do you have, nothing? Or do you want the same executive order that has the force of law? I'll take the executive order."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, Republican from Ohio, likened Obama's executive order as: "Make no mistake, a 'yes' vote on the Democrats' health care bill is a vote for taxpayer-funded abortions."

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