For months Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak had led a group of Pro-Life Democrats who declined to support the health care reform bill unless it contained language applying existing protections against federal funding of abortion to the bill. Unfortunately, Congressman Stupak and his remaining holdouts negotiated a deal with the White House. Under the deal, President Obama would issue an executive orderthat would address Pro-Life concerns.
Unfortunately, the executive order does nothing to address Pro-Life concerns. Every major Pro-Life group, including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has indicated that the executive order cannot do what Congressman Stupak apparently believes that it will do.
As a result, Congressman Stupak and his colleagues provided the remaining needed votes to pass a health care reform bill that includes an historic expansion of access to abortion in America.
This is why the bishops opposed the bill even after the promised executive order became known, and probably why pro-abortion members of the House of Representatives were all to happy to vote for the bill regardless of the Stupak-White House deal.