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NRL News
Page 28
January 2010
Volume 37
Issue 1

Abortion Is a Serious, Lethal Violation of Human Rights

By Congressman Chris Smith

Even though reputable polls consistently show that public funding of abortion is opposed by a supermajority of Americans, the multibillion dollar abortion industry—its lobbyists and friends in Congress and the White House—are today demanding that Obamacare force Americans to facilitate the killing of unborn children and the wounding of their mothers by paying for and even mandating abortion coverage.

This obsession with promoting the culture of death is astonishing. Today, in 2010, we know and understand more about the magnificent world of unborn children than ever before. We have empirical evidence that these babies move inside the womb and stretch, do somersaults and kick, wake and sleep.

We know that beneficial prenatal health interventions including microsurgery can be performed in utero, and that these children can feel excruciating physical pain before birth—including the pain deliberately inflicted by abortionists. Despite all this, President Obama and the Democrat leadership remain on a fast track to compel, force, mandate, and coerce public subsidies for abortion coverage.

Abortion is violence against children, and it exploits and harms women. It is certainly not health care for the baby who is destroyed, and now we know that abortion even adversely affects the health of subsequent children born to women who abort.

President Obama and Democratic Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have turned a blind eye to these “inconvenient truths” about abortion and instead willingly do the bidding of the billion-dollar abortion lobby. Yet the American people have not been deceived. The pro-life public continues to urge Congress not to enact a bill that would have so deadly an effect on women and children.

When Washington pundits thought the House of Representatives would never even consider an amendment to prohibit abortion funding, the spirit, compassion, and determination of the pro-life movement surprised them all. After a tenacious group of pro-life Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) refused to retreat from their principles, the amendment passed overwhelmingly and is a part of the House-passed bill.

Then, under intense pressure from the billion-dollar baby-bludgeoning abortion lobby, the Senate rejected the Stupak amendment and instead adopted a highly deceptive policy that will massively increase the number of children killed and mothers wounded by abortion. The Senate-passed bill contains numerous loopholes designed to advance the abortion agenda. Accounting gimmicks mask taxpayer funding for insurance coverage that includes abortion.

Taxpayer funds funneled to community health clinics may be used to conduct abortions. And, the bill would even force insurance companies to cover abortion if it is classified as a preventive service!

The abortion industry is intent on getting its piece of the billions of dollars made available through health care restructuring, because government-facilitated abortion means more income and more profits. Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson can attest to the profit motives of the abortion industry. She has said, “Abortion is the most lucrative part of Planned Parenthood’s operations. ... [T]hey really wanted to increase the number of abortions so that they could increase their income.” Imagine the earnings they could gain by billing the government-subsidized insurance plans for elective abortions.

Once again, the voices of pro-life Americans must be heard loud and clear. The Congress must now reconcile the very different House and Senate bills. Will Congress take the side of the vulnerable unborn and adopt the House language? Or will the powerful abortion lobby prevail?

Americans want, and the public deserves, total transparency and truth in legislation. Yet the Democratic leadership is meeting behind closed doors to hammer out the differences between the House and Senate bills. Undoubtedly they will attempt every gimmick and obfuscation possible to hide the deadly intentions woven into the legislation.

Misleading abortion language is already embedded into the Senate bill. Contrary to the long-standing Hyde amendment, which prohibits federal funding for health insurance coverage that includes abortion, the Senate bill offers subsidies for insurance that includes abortion. Some argue that this egregious deviation from current federal policy is ok, because the Senate bill employs an accounting gimmick. This is a phony effort to subsidize and expand the abortion industry cloaked in deceptive language. If that weren’t enough, even the accounting gimmicks are designed to be dismantled in the future.

If Congress truly wants to keep abortion out of the health care bill, simply accept the Stupak amendment which establishes a permanent policy that says clearly and plainly that there can be no funding for abortion and no government subsidies for plans that cover abortion.

The empirical evidence that public funding of abortion means more abortions is both logical and compelling. Even the Guttmacher Institute—formerly the research arm of Planned Parenthood—says that prohibiting federal funds under the Hyde Amendment prevents abortions that otherwise would have been procured by a stunning 25 percent.

That means that since enactment of funding bans in the late 70s and early 80s, millions of children, who would have been brutally killed by abortionists if public funding had facilitated their deaths, today live, and go to school, or perhaps may even compete in the Olympics this winter.

Whether or not the government funds abortion literally means life or death for countless individuals going forward. The Senate health bill discriminates against the most vulnerable minority in America today—unborn babies—and is the quintessential example of the politics of exclusion, in this case because of the child’s age and conditions of dependency and vulnerability.

Abortion is a serious, lethal violation of human rights—and now we are on the verge of being compelled to subsidize it. Slaughtering innocent children must never be construed as health care. True health care reform respects, protects, and enhances human life.

Congressman Smith is co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.