There are two things that will drive a debate to the point of a decision: Pain and partisan politics, though not necessarily in that order.
The legislative wrangling regarding health care reform is raging red hot these days. Admittedly, it’s a complex issue. For some, there is a genuine and sincere appeal to its passage, centered on a desire to help those families least able to help themselves. Few would fail to acknowledge the real pain of those most in need; those who are unable to access necessary health care for themselves and their loved ones.
As the head of an organization devoted to helping families thrive, I’m keenly aware of the challenges befalling moms and dads all around the country. As we have been since our inception in 1977, we’re fully committed to advocating for the health and well-being of America’s citizens.
But sometimes you can actually do more harm trying to help if you’re going about it the wrong way.
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language,” former President Ronald Reagan once said, “are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” He was likely echoing the sentiments of Thomas Paine, one of our Founding Fathers. “That government is best which governs least” he famously said.
We would be wise to heed their words.
It appears that very few people are fully aware of what’s included in the various versions and drafts of the proposed health care reform legislation, which in effect, would dramatically and detrimentally increase the role of government in America’s health care delivery system. There are numerous aspects of the issue that fall far outside of my scope of expertise. Regardless of where you stand on the need or wisdom of the overall reform, I do believe one aspect of this legislation is more troubling than any other.
As currently drafted, taxpayers would be forced to pay for abortions—and doctors and hospitals that refuse to perform abortions may be forced to close their doors rather than violate their religious beliefs or moral convictions. This would include some of the finest facilities throughout the union.
What a travesty and outrage to think that those within the medical community who have committed their lives to the preservation of the sanctity of life will be silenced. My heart aches at the thought of precious viable babies being slain—with the use of our tax dollars! What a terrible step backward; how could this be allowed to happen in the United States of America?
President Obama has suggested he wants to make abortion rare in America. That’s a great place to start the conversation, but I can tell you one thing: Requiring taxpayers to cover the cost of abortion-on-demand will not result in a reduction of abortion. It’ll have the reverse effect.
If President Obama is truly serious about making abortion rare, he shouldn’t be forcing Americans to subsidize it as part of his health care reform package. Even many abortion proponents don’t support that extreme position, and it does make his statements disingenuous toward saving lives.
What should President Obama do?
At a minimum, the President should promote policies ensuring a woman’s informed consent before she receives an abortion, including the opportunity to view an ultrasound image of her child. Our research indicates that of those women still at risk for abortion after counseling, 65% expressed their intent to carry their baby to term after viewing the ultrasound image.
Women deserve the full picture before making a decision as painful and irreversible as having an abortion—and an ultrasound provides it to them.
In her recent Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan wrote the following: “putting abortion in the mix takes the Christian out of Christian Democrat. It breaks and jangles the coalition, telling those who believe abortion is evil that they not only have to accept its legality but now have to pay for it in a brand new plan, for which they’ll be more highly taxed. This is taking a knife to your own supporters.”
I hope you’ll consider visiting our CitizenLink website to read more about this and other issues of great relevance to the family. You might also enjoy an extended discussion we had on the health care debate on last week’s Focus on the Family broadcast. To listen, CLICK HERE.
Fortunately, there’s good news on the horizon. The traditional six-week Congressional August recess is coming. Let’s pray the break will allow for further discussion and examination of this legislation.