Those of us who are pro-life have been following with interest the details of Obama’s health care reform in regards to the unborn. The possibility of government funded abortions has historically been one my concerns with the Obama administration, especially since the democratic platform spelled out in no uncertain terms their desire to see such a reality throughout presidential campaign of 2008. Well, today is an interesting day. A version of health care reform has been passed in the House, but not without a significant amendment that will prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion or federal funds to pay for insurance that covers abortion.
As you can imagine, the amendment sparked emotion from both sides of the debate. Some, such as Rep. Nita Lowey (D.-N.Y.) simply called the amendment “reprehensible.” Others, such as Tony Perkins, president of the Pro-Life Family Research Council, are calling it “one of the most significant pro-life votes since Roe v Wade.” But it is the argument from Donna Schaper of The Huffington Post that is difficult to understand. Schaper writes that her heart has been “broken” by the amendment and then addresses a few reasons why. The basic premise for which she now suffers from a broken heart is that the nation is in danger of being “weak” and not strong because of the amendment. She says, “compassion is a practical virtue as well as being a moral virtue. I
want abortion to be paid for. Paying for abortions would build our
nation because anything that increases the freedom and capacity of
women builds nations.” Her argument fails on several grounds.
First, this is the first time I have heard an argument for abortion being made on the grounds of strengthening our country. Most arguments are centered around the rights of women, their bodies, and the government’s need to not interfere. But the rhetoric of Schaper conveys the notion that abortion is a good thing! That it should be lawful and utilized as a means to make America strong. I personally know many pro-choice advocates. I don’t know anyone who thinks that abortion is a good thing, a way to build up and strengthen our country. Abortion does not empower and build up, it destroys and leaves lasting, unforgettable memories. Never has a lady left an abortion clinic, regardless of the circumstances that called for an abortion, with her head held high in proud recognition of building her country. Of course not. We can debate the merit of whether or not a woman has the right to abort her child, but lets not dare take it to the level of thinking this kind of choice somehow empowers and strengthens.
Second, Schaper talks about compassion. Of course, the classic error that all pro-choice advocates make when the discussion of compassion and human rights comes up is compassion for the little boy or girl in the womb. There is something painfully ironic about promoting health care reform, a desire to see all be protected and insured, that includes a government provision to terminate life. And the age-old debate of “is it really a person” is all but over now. Pro-choice advocates are more and more unwilling to make that argument; besides, it’s not about what is in the womb. It is all about the woman. And apparently the good of the country.
Those of us who follow Christ and desire to be obedient to Him have to make some tough decisions. Do we promote and advocate Obama’s health care reform because we believe that is what Jesus would do? If so, then we better be willing to follow that argument through to its logical conclusions and not jump out of the boat when it comes to difficult issues and pledge our allegiance to the “separation of church and state.” Either we bring our faith into the discussion or we don’t. We can’t pick and choose.
I love the idea of health insurance for all Americans. I’m not smart enough in politics to know if it is the best thing in the long run, if we can afford it, etc. I do know that as a Christian, the most important aspects need to remain the most important aspects. God is the Father of all life. It is precious to Him. It should be precious to us.