NRL News
Page 3
February 2009
Volume 36
Issue 2

ABORTION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
By Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

Among the many urgent decisions our new president has had to make, overturning the “Mexico City Policy” was most certainly not one of them.  That policy—first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan, continued by President George H. W. Bush, rescinded infamously by President Bill Clinton, and re-instated by President George W. Bush—denied U.S. tax dollars to organizations promoting and performing abortion abroad.  Most regrettably, President Obama saw fit to use your money to make the killing of unborn babies in foreign countries easier by issuing an executive order abolishing the “Mexico City Policy.”

Is this “change we can believe in”?  A USA Today/Gallup poll (Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2009) found that only 35% of respondents favored this action, while 58% opposed it. 

Beyond contempt for the American taxpayer, it takes considerable cultural arrogance and tone deafness to advance the eugenic mission of the abortion promoting/performing organizations (e.g., International Planned Parenthood) working abroad.  Under the threat of withholding aid, these organizations seek to pressure foreign countries into making abortion legal.  Supposedly, all this is in the best interest of women, children (!), ethnic minorities, and the poor….

Before meddling in the customs of other countries, our president ought to look at what abortion has done to poor and minority women in this country.  Having the opportunity for a decent education, the right to vote, the chance to become president—all this—means nothing if you can’t get a chance to live in the first place.

Years ago, before he pursued a political career, Rev. Jesse Jackson correctly observed that “abortion is black genocide.”  If President Obama doesn’t wish to agree with Jesse Jackson, he can believe what his friends in the pro-abortion lobby have to say.

“This much is true: In the United States, the abortion rate [number of abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age] for black women is almost five times that of white women.”  So says Susan Cohen, director of government affairs at the Guttmacher Institute (“Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture,” Guttmacher Policy Review, vol. 11, no. 3, summer 2008).  Cohen also notes that “the abortion rate among Hispanic women … is double the rate among whites.”  The specific numbers for the abortion rate in 2004 are: 11 for white, 28 for Hispanic, and 50 for black women.  (We should remember that the Guttmacher Institute is the “research” offspring from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  These are not “scare” figures promulgated by pro-lifers.)

In the year 2004, according to Cohen, 37% of abortions were done on black women and 22% on Latinas.  Yet, these two groups make up only about a quarter of the total population of women in the age range 15 to 44. 

These horrific numbers shouldn’t just alarm Rev. Jackson but all of us—especially President Obama.  Before anyone points a finger at the women in these subgroups, we should understand how much government policies and private “charitable” programs can endanger family structures and inadvertently promote cultural disintegration in any “target” group.

The depth of the problem is further illuminated by another Guttmacher study (“Repeat Abortions in the United States,” by R. K. Jones, S. Singh, L. B. Finer, and L. F. Frohwirth, Occasional Report, no. 29, November 2006):  Black women are 70% more likely to have had at least one abortion preceding the current one.  Repeat abortions are also more likely, if Medicaid pays for the abortion.  Obviously, public policy can lead to abortion becoming the default method of birth control.

The latter observation points to the role of government funding of abortions.  One cannot escape the conclusion that some “progressive” welfare agencies consider abortion as the most cost-effective “solution” for their pregnant clients.  Although in 33 states and the District of Columbia, the legislatures (Congress, in the case of D.C.) have been able to restrict the funding of abortion to instances of life endangerment, rape, or incest; in 17 states, many of them with large populations, legislative actions or court orders have imposed a public funding regimen for all abortions.

As experience has shown, public funding of abortions makes them anything but “rare.”  Isn’t making abortion “rare” the goal of enlightened “pro-choicers”?  But public funding of abortions is one of the most important policy goals for the pro-abortion lobby.  Hence, they are fanatical about repealing the Hyde Amendment which—except for life endangerment, rape, or incest—currently prohibits the funding of abortions with federal tax monies.

Public funding restrictions are constitutional:  The Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion but not to having the state pay for it.  We should thank all pro-life legislators, governors, and presidents who have withstood the pressures of the pro-abortion lobby and kept your tax monies out of the hands of the abortion industry.  The pro-abortion lobby isn’t happy about this.  Cohen writes:

“Perhaps the most tragic [italics added] result of the funding restrictions, however, is that a significant number of women who would have had an abortion had it been paid for by Medicaid instead end up continuing their pregnancy. … [I]n North Carolina, … the legislature created a special fund to pay for abortions for poor women.  In several instances ... the fund was exhausted before the end of the fiscal year…. [O]ne-third of women who would have had an abortion if support were available carried their pregnancies to term when the abortion fund was unavailable.”  So it is “tragic” if a poor baby is allowed to live instead of being killed.  Where is the “social justice” here?

Cohen wrote this in 2007, yet her observation that “[l]ed by Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), the House leadership is now firmly supportive of abortion rights and access, even for poor women” is even more relevant today.  The last election gave us a solidly pro-abortion president who has appointed numerous pro-abortion activists to his administration.  And the Congressional Democratic leadership is as committed to abortion as ever.  Expect an energetic move to repeal the Hyde Amendment, all in the name of “social justice”—and to pay off the pro-abortion lobby and industry.

Pro-lifers must fight to keep the Hyde Amendment.  Not just to protect their wallets, but to live up to the dictates of their conscience.