“This bill is not reform. It just makes our existing entitlement crisis even worse. This bill violates the belief held by more than 70 percent of Americans that money collected by the government should not be used to pay for abortion or abortion coverage, but that’s what this bill does. Regardless of the colloquy, an executive order is not a statute. It doesn’t trump a statute,” he said prior to the vote.
“The government will end up directly paying for abortions at community health centers. Taxpayer subsidies will for the first time in decades subsidize insurance coverage that include abortion. The bill and the accompanying executive order turns over the protection of the unborn to the most pro-abortion president in our history,” Pitts added.
“This extreme legislation is being forced on an unwilling nation. It is the most pro-abortion bill, the largest expansion of abortion in our history. No member who votes for it will ever be able to claim again that they’ve always stood on the side of the unborn, and I’m sad to say this: This is a career defining vote. There will be no living it down. I urge my colleagues to vote no on this terrible bill,” he said.
After the vote, Pitts said “the will of the people” had been rejected, because despite polls showing the public does not support federal funding of abortion, the chamber had passed “the most massively pro-abortion piece of legislation to come before Congress since Roe v. Wade.”
“I rise in support of the motion before us. Over and over again, polls have shown the public does not support federal funding of abortions. Unfortunately, the Senate rejected the will of the people and passed a bill that has become known as the most massively pro-abortion piece of legislation to come before Congress since Roe v. Wade. Despite the political run-around that we’ve been given this last week, the facts remain before us today,” Pitts said after the vote.
“The Senate bill departs from longstanding current policy and achieves the exact opposite effect of current law, and executive order promised by the president will not change these facts. An executive order does not trump a statute, and the courts will undoubtedly look to the legislative text to interpret the law. Moreover, the promised order fails to even correct the egregious pro-life concerns contained in this bill. It will simply reiterate the meaningless accounting scheme cooked up by the Senate bill,” he added.
“Regardless of what type of gimmick is employed to facilitate the abortion payments, the result will be the same. The abortion rate will rise, and more unborn lives will be lost. The executive order does nothing to prevent funding for abortion in the co-op program or prevent funding for abortion in the high-risk insurance pool program,” said Pitts.
“The executive order does not prevent HRSA from issuing regs that include abortion as a preventative service, thereby, mandating all individual plans and group plans include abortion as a required service. The executive order does nothing to prevent that abortion surcharge mandate from being implemented. It is fool of loopholes,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to reinstate the pro-life protections that passed this chamber last November in a bipartisan vote – the Stupak Pitts amendment. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this motion, and I yield back,” Pitts added.
Pitts and then-Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) proposed an amendment to the Affordable Care Act prohibiting the use of federal funds “to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion” except in the case of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. Although the House adopted the Stupak-Pitts amendment, it was stripped from the Senate version of Obamacare.