Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is the difference really that trivial?

Michael Gerson responds to the meme that the differences between the abortion language in the House and Senate versions of health care are trivial.
Marcus dismisses these concerns as trivial. The practical effect is “nil.” Actually, maintaining this principle -- that federal resources should not be used to encourage elective abortions -- has been one of the few, consistent pro-life successes since Roe v. Wade. Marcus, along with Jost, hopes that principle will be casually abandoned in the confusion of health reform. In fact, they seem determined to add to that confusion at a key moment. Apart from the principle involved, is it really credible to imagine that massive public subsidies to health-insurance plans that cover abortion would reduce the number of abortions? Is there any evidence that one of the main reasons women have abortions is because they lack health coverage that includes contraception?

In fact, all the political “muscle” is being applied on one side. The president and Democratic leadership could have crafted a health-reform approach that maintains the status quo on public funding of abortion. Instead, they produced a bill that subsidies health plans that offer abortion and offends the conscience of millions of Americans. Their pro-abortion views have proven even deeper than their commitment to health-care reform -- a cause they have complicated with their pro-choice ideology.

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