Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
As promised, Speaker John Boehner and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives have already passed legislation to repeal the entire health care bill.
While this measure passed the House with ease, it is unlikely that Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate will even give it a second glance. Repeal will be stopped dead in the Senate.
However, in an effort to potentially weaken the health care bill, the Republicans are bringing a controversial issue into the spotlight — abortion.
The day after the House passed the measure to repeal, they introduced legislation that would permanently prohibit any taxpayer funding for abortion. The proposed law, named the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, would make permanent the existing abortion restrictions, which must be renewed each year. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus.
“Our new bill is designed to permanently end any U.S. government financial support for abortion, whether it be direct funding or by tax credits or any other subsidy,” he said.
But wait — there’s more. Smith’s bill isn’t the only new legislation brewing in the House that deals with abortion. Another longtime abortion opponent, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., now heads the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Pitts has proposed a bill called the Protect Life Act, which he says would close loopholes in the current health care reform law that allow government funding of abortion.
“They’ve opened the proverbial floodgates for federal money to pour into abortion services, and with it they’ve incentivized an extremely controversial practice,” Pitts said.
But does the health care law actually allow for federal funding of abortion?
Abortion opponents and abortion-rights groups still cannot agree on the matter. Those who advocate abortion rights say the law places new restrictions on the procedure, requiring women to buy a separate insurance policy if they want abortion coverage provided by their insurance plan. Pro-life groups, however, argue that the health care bill covers abortion under the public option.
Should Americans’ tax dollars be used to pay for abortions?
Abortion is, in theory, wrong. Just take a look at the case in Philadelphia against Dr. Kermit Gosnell to see why. Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder, which include seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors, according to prosecutors.
In a New York Times article, Ronald Reagan was once quoted as saying, “I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born” (Sept. 22, 1980).
He was being sarcastic, but he’s right. Unborn babies have no chance to decide for themselves when it comes to abortion. They are not given the option of being “pro-life” or “pro-choice.”
It sounds good to be pro-life, as an affiliation. But if that support of children’s lives ends at their birth, why even call it “pro-life?”
Is it better to abort babies in Third World countries (and even here in America) where they will be born only to die a few years later from starvation?
Of course not, but the point is — if we are not going to do anything to help solve the bigger problem, is it better to let these babies die before they are born than suffer for the years they are alive?
It is foolish to stop a mother from having an abortion only to say, “You’re on your own.”
Not all babies enter the world in the ideal scenario with the perfect family. What about babies around the world born because of incest or rape? What about babies born into poverty and hunger?
The world does not need more children. It needs more loved children. When people adopt, a child receives more than a place to live — he or she receives the love of parents. Providing funds or assistance to mothers who have children under difficult circumstances, both financial and personal, can aid them in creating the safe and loving environment a child needs to grow.
Christian crisis pregnancy centers are working to meet these needs. These non-profit organizations, more than 4,000 throughout the U.S. and Canada, counsel mothers against abortion and provide resources to assist them before and after the child is born. They are trying to prevent children from experiencing poverty, violence and neglect.
The federal government should not be responsible for paying for abortions with taxpayer money. Abortion is intrinsically wrong — besides, taxpayers are by no means in agreement on the issue. However, for a real solution to the abortion problem, we have to continue caring about children once they are born.
While the bill to repeal the whole health care law is likely to be stifled in the Senate, anti-abortion legislation has a fighting chance because many Senate Democrats oppose abortion rights, too.