Effect of the New Healthcare Law and Executive Order on Abortion

USCCB Legal Analysis Confirms the Worse

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2010 -- The USCCB has released a very readible legal memoradum to identify the abortion and conscience protection problems with the recently-passed healthcare bill and the corresponding  Executive Order of March 24, 2010, that was purported to correct those problems. "Althoughwe wish it were otherwise, we must conclude that [new law] poses serious problems in these two areas, and that the Executive Order does not correct those problems."

The analysis concludes, "The Executive Order cannot and does not fix the statutory problems of direct funding of abortion at CHCs (Community Health Centers), and of funding insurance plans that cover abortions; it cannot and does not make up for the absence of conscience protections that are missing from the statute; and it does not strengthen the conscience protections that are there, though it could have in certain limited ways. Where the Order purports to fix a shortcoming of the Act in these areas, it is highly likely to be legally invalid; and where the Order is highly likely to be legally valid, it does nothing to fix those shortcomings.

"Thus, the shortcomings of the Act remain, and correspondingly, the need for fixes remains. Only Congress, with the consent of the President, has the legal authority to make those fixes. Congress and the President should act promptly to do so; they should not await courts’ likely invalidation of the few provisions of the Executive Order that even purport to be fixes.

Read the analysis in its entirety.

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