Members of the pro-choice caucus are livid after the White House released the Executive Order on abortion to the media without showing it to them.
According to members who spoke on the condition of anonymity, at the end of the Stupak press conference today they were still waiting to see the language of the Executive Order. The first they saw of it was after the White House released it with a statement to the media.
They are particularly concerned about the language in the statement from Dan Pfeiffer, which they believe suggests that the intent of the order is to go further than Hyde:
While the legislation as written maintains current law, the executive order provides additional safeguards to ensure that the status quo is upheld and enforced, and that the health care legislation’s restrictions against the public funding of abortions cannot be circumvented.
According to the members, women’s groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood had requested copies of the language. It is not known whether or not they received it before the release to the press.
Yesterday Rep Diana DeGette indicated that she agreed to the executive order on behalf of the proc-choice caucus, though it is unknown if she saw the final language before it was agreed to. She has steadfastly refused to release the 41 names of members who signed her letter pledging to vote against any health care bill that restricts a woman’s access to abortion services.