I have listened to a great deal of the debate about National
Health Care over the last few months. I may write more about this
debate in the coming weeks. I have previously expressed my concern that
independent studies have revealed that we cannot afford this legislation. If
we are serious about health care reform we can make several much needed
changes in the system without accumulating massive new debt and adopting
budget breaking expenditures. This being said I have tried to remain
open to arguments from both sides on this debate. I am convinced that
advocates and opponents have both misrepresented the facts, at least in
some instances. And I am growing very weary of the way this debate has
I know for certain is that every piece of health care legislation that
has been put forward, at least to this point, is extremely favorable to
abortion and provides taxpayer support for abortions that presently are
not supported by federal dollars. The bills set forward by the
Democrats and President Obama are consistent on this point. These
advocates are not telling us the truth about the abortion issue in this
am amazed at how many friends of mine who assure me that they are
strongly pro-life also assure me that Obama's health care plan
has nothing at all to do with abortion. I do not like the way the right
has hurled terrible epithets at the President but in this instance he
is not telling us the whole truth about abortion. He has to know it.
What he is doing is being very consistent with his stance on abortion followed over
the course of his entire career in politics. This president is no
friend to the cause of saving the lives of the unborn. To argue that he is seems to distort his words and their meaning beyond the breaking point.
A Senate committee voted yesterday, along strict party lines, to not restrict abortions under the Baucus health care proposal. Baucus himself says that his proposal does not support abortion. Senator Baucus is either naive, not telling the truth or not very smart. The vote yesterday, in Senate committee, proves my point. See for yourself.
So long as the Democrats promote government funded abortions I simply
cannot, in Christian conscience, support the Democrats. This does not
mean that I am a Republican, since I have major problems with the
leadership of this party as well. It does mean that based on conscience
the issue of the life of the unborn, the weakest among us, is such a
bedrock moral issue that I will oppose any effort to increase the
likelihood of more abortions, especially when my taxes are helping pay
for them. I cannot stand before God in the final day and tell Christ
that my faith was so private and personal that I would not speak up for
the unborn who were being slaughtered on a daily basis in this nation
that is supposedly rooted in natural law.
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If life was simpler and the two party system was clearly a question of one issue alone, we surely would all be in agreement John. As much as I applaud your convictions and stand with an eye to meeting Christ at the judgement,I do have serious concerns. Are you not in danger of playing right into the hands of that wing of the Church that has reduced their political loyalties to this one single issue from the beginning, refusing to allow the rest of us the same convictions on a number of other critical issues also touching the sanctity of life the freedom to choose differently?
Baucus isn’t naive or stupid. I believe is playing sophisticated word games that allow him to maintain that he is telling the truth when he is in fact trying to deceive. Politicians do this all the time, and it sickens me. If it were true that no federal funds were going to abortion under this bill, then Planned Parenthood would be mobilizing against it. But they are supportive.
I am amazed at those who maintain that a big-government health care package, even if it funds abortion, will ultimately reduce the number of abortions. They allege that it will transform society so fundamentally that those “root causes” (which are alleged to be poverty, social inequality, whatever) will magically abate. To believe this requires an irrational leap of faith. It comes down to one simple fact:
If you subsidize a behavior, more of it will happen.
And please don’t tell me that I’m wrong because “abortions increased under the Bush administration.” That depends on how you define abortion and whether you look at raw counts versus rates. If abortion had been publicly subsidized during the past eight years, those numbers would have been higher than they were.
John, thanks so much for speaking out on this issue. I really need to get around to posting on it myself – I’m without excuse.
And John Paul Todd, this is one of those times it comes down to a single issue. If a healthcare plan provided universal coverage but legalized slavery, no sane person would say, “Well, how good’s the new insurance?”
Subsidizing abortion is a direct evil. Passing a bill that contains abortion subsidies is doing evil so good will come about. Doing evil so good will come about is always forbidden. If someone bids you to commit an evil action, the question “what’s in it for me?” isn’t even relevant.
Finally, the Democrats in both the House and Senate had every chance to remove the cancerous parts of this bill. If they’d removed the abortion provisions, it would be a purely prudential judgment – is this the best way of achieving the good of health care? They refused to remove them. So now it’s a closed question. You don’t help pay for millions of murders because you can get treatment sooner.
This isn’t a question of playing into some political camp in the Church or in American politics. The majority party had the ability to make this a morally palatable bill, and has on repeated occasion now refused.
Certainly, the other stuff is relevant, too, like the fact that health care coverage will probably be worse overall, like that the economic damage this bill will do is probably going to drive more working class people under the poverty line, and will probably prolong the economic hard times we’re currently facing (and which are driving an increase in abortions sought).
Well, even though I have voted in very strong pro-life candidate directions for years, I do have some of the concerns that John Paul Todd raises. For instance, what real difference has there been between pro-life and pro-choice Presidents—speaking pragmatically?
It seems like abortion on demand has been the norm of this country for a while now (as if voting for Bush for example saved babies lives and voting for Clinton destroyed them).
It just seems to me that much of the abortion debate on voting is moot when considering the actual realities of our modern history. And this might stir a hornet’s nest but it has always seemed inconsistent to me that we say we are pro-life and often vote also what seems to be pro-war (which is anti-life).
These two issues have become so dichotomized that to vote for one is a vote against the other or vise versa when it comes to how this works out in our current polarized world of politics.
All I can say is to be ‘consistently pro-life’ puts one automatically inbetween a rock and a hard place!
Voting for pro-life candidates is one way to influence policy, but as Chris and John Paul Todd point out, it is a very blunt instrument. Elected officials from both parties need to hear from their constituents.
In response to Chris’s comment, it is important to elect a pro-life president because he is the one who nominates judges for the federal courts, and the abortion issue, if it is ever solved, will be done so via the courts rather than the legislator. Unfortunately for Bush, many of his nominees were blocked (I don’t know how many, but it was substantial) and he was not able to make the inroads in that area that was hoped for.
I share your concerns brother! Keep writing.