Monday, March 22, 2010
New Health Care = More Abortions?
With the passage of the new health care bill, pro-life advocates are warning of increased abortions. See the March 19 Baptist Press article which offered the following reactions:
"The bottom line is current legislation will result in government funding of elective abortion, which will lead, as some experts project, to a 30 percent increase in abortions in America," Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press. "This legislation, if passed, will be the largest expansion of abortion since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins agreed.
"Anything that the government offers to pay for, it gets more of. There's no question that you would see an expansion of the abortion rate in America [if the bill passes]," Perkins said during a conference call with reporters.
Richard Doerflinger, a legislative expert with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the bishops will continue to oppose the bill if the abortion language is not changed. He also said the abortion rate could go up.
"There are some who hope that the health care coverage, especially for pregnant women in the bill, might have some positive effect in reducing abortions," Doerflinger said during the conference call. "The reality is this: The biggest factors in the United States driving the abortion rate are poverty and race ... [and] the public policy that has the biggest impact on abortion rates is simply whether the government funds abortions."
The health care bill, pro-lifers say, appropriates $7 billion to the nation's 1,200-plus community health centers without stipulating that the money cannot be used for abortions. The bill also changes longstanding federal policy by allowing tax dollars to go toward paying for insurance plans that cover elective abortions. Congress' own insurance plans, for example, cannot cover abortions. The bill requires that anyone who has a plan that covers abortion -- even men and elderly women -- must pay a separate fee to cover abortion, in addition to their premium.