A leading pro-abortion rights group registered its displeasure with a compromise regarding abortion provision in the healthcare reform bill.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and his voting bloc of anti-abortion rights Democrats reached a deal with the White House for the president to sign an executive order on abortion in exchange for their votes. NARAL said the deal was redundant and too restrictive.


“On a day when Americans are expected to see passage of legislation that will make health care more affordable for more than 30 million citizens, it is deeply disappointing that Bart Stupak and other anti-choice politicians would demand the restatement of the Hyde amendment, a discriminatory law that blocks low-income women from receiving full reproductive-health care," NARAL president Nancy Keenan said in a statement.

The deal helped Democrats reach the 216 votes necessary to pass the reform bill.

Stupak had objected to the reconciliation package of fixes to the healthcare bill because it did not include language he amended to the House's healthcare bill in November that included strict restrictions on federal dollars for abortion.

The order, which President Barack Obama will sign after the health bill passes, calls for the government to enforce a law that prevents federal funds from paying for abortion services. The order is close to language Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) attempted to include in the Senate bill last December.

Keenan, however, said that the Hyde Amendment should be repealed.

"Today’s action is a stark reminder of why we must repeal this unfair and insulting policy," Keenan said. "Achieving this goal means increasing the number of lawmakers in Congress who share our pro-choice values. Otherwise, we will continue to see women’s reproductive rights used as a bargaining chip.” 

Planned Parenthood, another pro-abortion rights group, reluctantly supported the compromise, saying that it prevented the Stupak language from being included in the final bill.

"While we regret that this proposed Executive Order has given the imprimatur of the president to Senator Nelson’s language, we are grateful that it does not include the Stupak abortion ban," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement.