Southern Religion

The Senate abortion-reduction health reform legislation

Not only does the U.S. Senate health reform legislation not subsidize abortion, expert legal analysis [.pdf] tells us.

But also, availability of more accessible health care promises to reduce the number of abortions.

T.R. Reid [“Universal Health Care Tends to Cut the Abortion Rate,” Washington Post, 2010.03.14] compared the abortion rate of the United States to the abortion rates of comparable industrial nations which have universal health care, usingUnited Nations data, and found:

The U.N. data measure the number of abortions for women ages 15 to 44. They show that Canada, for example, has 15.2 abortions per 1,000 women; Denmark, 14.3; Germany, 7.8; Japan, 12.3; Britain, 17.0; and the United States, 20.8.

Yes, Britain, where abortion is legal and free. Where “8 percent of the population is Catholic (compared with 25 percent in the United States).” For many reasons, among them better accept to doctor-prescribed contraceptive measures. And as was explained by Cardinal Basil Hume, who when Reid lived in London “was the senior Roman Catholic prelate of England and Wales:”

If that frightened, unemployed 19-year-old knows that she and her child will have access to medical care whenever it’s needed, she’s more likely to carry the baby to term. Isn’t it obvious?

The Senate bill does move us further in that abortion-discouraging direction. For example, it designates more than $7 billion – “$11 billion in the president’s amended version” – for Federally Qualified Health Centers, David Gibson writes as part of a painstaking analysis of the legislation, “to allow them to serve an estimated 15 million more people who do not have adequate health care.” Indeed, “last year health centers provided prenatal, perinatal, and post-natal/post-partum care to 1 of every 8 children born in the U.S.” Without providing any abortions. None, wrote the National Association of Community Health Centers in a recent letter.

The expert analyst to whom we referred above is Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, who holds the Robert L. Willett Family Professorship of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and is, Mark Silk tells us, “an ardent pro-lifer.” Jost said:

“The bottom line is that health care reform is pro-life,” Jost said. “We’re going to save an awful lot of lives with this bill … I identify as a Christian, strongly, and I identify as someone who believes in the sacredness of life. I just think this is a pro-life bill. I’m really discouraged that people not only don’t want it but also are spreading erroneous information about it. Because I don’t think that’s something that Christians should do.”

Nor do we.


March 14, 2010 - Posted by | Health, Politics | ,

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