.- Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker has denied that President Obamaâs executive order barring funding for abortions is of any enforceable value, saying the legislationâs funding provisions regarding abortion are âintentionally complicated.â She predicts that abortions will be funded at Community Health Centers because of the health care bill.
Opening her Sunday column by saying abortion is the last thing she wants to talk about, she charged that the presidentâs executive order on abortion funding cannot override statute.
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who secured the executive order in exchange for his support for the legislation, has described the order as an âironcladâ ban on abortion funding.
According to Parker, defenders of the health care bill have also said the bill nowhere says funds will go towards abortion and that the Hyde Amendment prohibiting federal funding for abortion applies to the legislation.
âBoth are true - up to a point. It isnât what the bill says; itâs what it doesnât say,â Parker continued.
While the bill does not explicitly appropriate abortion funding and uses terminology that seems to âexplicitlyâ forbid it, she said other areas are âswampierâ and funds could be use to pay for abortion as circumstances change.
She explained that the Hyde Amendment is a rider that must be attached each year to the annual appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services.
âUnder its terms, it applies only to those funds,â Parker commented.
The Community Health Centers (CHCs) are not funded through this appropriations budget but rather does âan end-run around Hydeâ by appropriating billions of dollars for a new âCHC Fund.â
âBecause the Obama administrationâs âfix-itâ bill did not include the abortion-ban language proposed by Rep. Bart Stupak, those billions appropriated to CHCs simply are not covered by Hyde,â Parker claimed.
While President Obamaâs executive order purports to extend the Hyde Amendment restrictions to these dollars, she added, âregardless of Obamaâs stated intentions, he canât actually do this without an act of Congress.â
Although defenders of the bill say abortions arenât performed at CHCs, under the new law they can, Parker argued.
âThereâs nothing to stop them,â she said, explaining that statute requires them to provide all required primary health care services, including those related to âobstetrics or gynecology that are furnished by physicians.â
âFederal courts long have held that when a statute requires provision of health services under such broad categories, then the statute must be construed to include abortion unless it explicitly excludes it. Voila.â
âPrediction: Abortions will be performed at CHCs, you can bet your foreclosed mortgage on that,â her Washington Post column concluded. âThere was always a will by this administration, and now thereâs a way.â