Take the $7 billion in new federal funding for the community health centers. As my former White House colleague Yuval Levin points out, all that has to happen for these federal dollars to start flowing for abortion is for NARAL Pro-Choice America to sponsor a woman demanding an abortion. The center will initially deny funding, citing the executive order. The woman will then sue, arguing that abortion is a part of health care. Given the legal precedents, and the lack a specific ban in the actual legislation, the courts will likely agree.
That is part of what makes the consequences of Mr. Stupak’s surrender so far reaching. Not only has he opened the door to this kind of mischief, he has encouraged those who want to get rid of the Hyde amendment itself, which for decades has prevented federal funds from paying for abortions. Because his leadership and collapse were both so high-profile, moreover, he left fellow pro-lifer Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski (who stood firm) out in the cold, and made nearly invisible the pro-life House Democrats such as Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor who voted for the Stupak amendment and against the bill both times.