Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Abortion and health care reform, Part XXVLIII

OK, so I made up that Roman numeral in an attempt to convey this: "Yes, again, we need to talk about abortion and health care reform." Because things like this are, still, being said:
The National Right to Life Committee has branded Obama's bill as "the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation that has ever come to the House floor for a vote."
Seriously. And there's also this, from Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life:
"The legislation most likely to move forward in Congress would be the single greatest expansion of abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision."
Seriously. Honestly, I don't know what these groups and people who support them are trying to accomplish, or why. Do they really and truly believe that health care reform will include federally-funded abortions? And if they really and truly believe, that, why?? It is Not True, and it's really not that hard to find out it's not true. So if they really and truly believe this, the only conclusion I can draw is they can't or won't read the bill and/or they believe everything they read and hear and are too lazy to go look for themselves.

The other option is they know it's not true but are putting these rumors and lies into the world in order to defeat the health care bill. Now, if they know it's not true and are working to defeat the bill ... why? Pro-life beliefs shouldn't be a far stretch from "pro-people having health care that helps them live," right? I'm not sure how a "pro-life" person would reconcile their pro-life beliefs with an anti-health care reform position. (I'm sure there is a way, though, and I'm sure someone will tell me what it is.)

So maybe, just maybe, these groups do know the bill doesn't actually provide federal funding for abortion, but they're trying to defeat it to help the Republican politicians who happen to be the groups' allies in the "pro-life" world. See, if Republicans are "pro-life," and if Republicans are Taking A Stand against health care, it could (would) be bad for them if it passed. Insert wedge issue (abortion) here! Get some "pro-life" groups to go on a spree of lies, convincing people that the bill pays for abortions with your money, and get the people on the Republicans' side. This seems the most likely scenario to me. Republicans need to defeat this bill. This is how they're trying to do it. (Well, that and claiming the deficit incurred from this bill will basically make the entire country go up in smoke.)

If you have any doubts about what the health care bill does or doesn't cover as far as abortions go, please read this article at Politics Daily, "The Senate Bill Funds Abortions? Nope, and It's More Pro-Life Than the House Version." You might just be surprised. Add to that this article at the Washington Post, "Universal health care tends to cut the abortion rate." This seems like such common sense, I can't believe people haven't used this argument more aggressively. And add to both of those this article in Guernica, "Lucky Girl," about a woman trying to get an illegal abortion in 1962, just as a reminder of why every woman should have access to safe, legal abortions.

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