Why the health care fight is also about abortion

MLADEN ANTONOV AFP/GETTY IMAGES Anti-abortion protesters pray outside the Supreme Court on the third day of oral arguments over the … Continued

MLADEN ANTONOV

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Anti-abortion protesters pray outside the Supreme Court on the third day of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 28, 2012 in Washington, DC.

For more than two years, conservative legal organizations like the ACLJ have said that Obamacare is about much more than a choice between individual liberty and a federal takeover of the health care industry. Recent news lends further evidence to concern that the Affordable Care Act is also about expanding access to and funding for abortion. This month, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said of the newly-released abortion funding rules for state insurance exchanges, “Abortion isn’t health care . . . Obamacare should do them no harm. Tragically, it does the worst harm of all. It kills children and makes others complicit in abortion.”

When it comes to abortion in the Affordable Care Act, the devil is in the details: You can read these new abortion coverage rules at the HHS Web site.

For years, Obamacare supporters kept telling Americans that the bill has nothing to do with abortion. President Obama himself promised that there would be no abortion funding in his signature health care legislation.

Not only were they proven wrong (the abortifacient mandate and the abortion “surcharge” are just two examples), the very fact that the abortion industry was out in full force on the steps of the Supreme Court this week is in itself telling.

These were not just some random pro-abortion protesters who wandered onto the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court because they saw some TV cameras. This was a well-organized, carefully orchestrated effort on the part of the abortion industry.


View Photo Gallery: The U.S. Supreme Court held three days of arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Though I was there on Day 1 and Day 2 attending the oral arguments, this is not just my limited observation.

Center for American Progress, a liberal “progressive” activist group, reported:

NARAL Pro-Choice America announced on its Web site that it organized efforts to join “progressive allies on steps of Supreme Court to counter repeal efforts that would take away increased access to prenatal care and contraceptive coverage [including abortifacients like the morning-after pill].” It continued:

However, after this week’s arguments at the Supreme Court, these pro-abortion organizations have cause for concern.

While Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan appeared ready to uphold the law – Justice Breyer going so far as to suggest that Congress could mandate action based on “when you are born” – the rest of the Court seemed skeptical of embracing Obamacare’s expansion of the federal government’s power.

Justice Scalia issued very strong criticism of the constitutionality of the individual mandate and followed this up stating, “My approach would say if you take the heart out of the statute, the statute’s gone.” As a surprise to some, Justice Kennedy, seen by many as a swing vote on the case, delivered some of the strongest questioning in the oral arguments. He said, Obamacare, “changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.” And when asking what should be done with the rest of the law if the Court strikes down the individual mandate, he tellingly added, “Assume there is a significant possibility of that.”

Regardless of the final decision of the Court, it is unquestionable that the outcome of Obamacare will significantly impact both the abortion industry and the fight for the lives of the unborn. Isn’t it about time to admit that the fight over Obamacare also remains a fight over abortion?

Jordan Sekulow is Executive Director of the American Center for Law & Justice and writes for On Faith’s blogging network at the Washington Post. Matthew Clark, an attorney for the ACLJ, contributed to this blog.

  • ccnl1

    Some reality:

    The reality of contraception and STD control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. …

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth “control” methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    “Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars.”

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    “Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here’s a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active “post-teeners”: Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    “Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about,” said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. “They view it as a way to have intima

  • cricket44

    Spare me. The only “pro-abortion” people in existence are the anti-birth control and anti-comprehensive sex ed folks who populate the anti-choice cult you represent.

    I’m sorry you have such contempt for women’s autonomy but women do not need to suffer for your ignorance.

    There is NO justice in the anti-choice lobby. Shame on you.

  • nellewrites

    Oh good, more dudes telling women what to do with our bodies. Yeah, like that never happened before.

    Stay out of our pants unless you are invited in.

  • ccnl1

    Scroll down to read about the Brutal Effects of Stupidity.

  • DavidJ9

    What is with the obsession of reactionaries with abortion? They find a way to tie everything to abortion and show us repeatedly that in addition to doing what they can to oppress women, they are fighting against the poor, the infirm and the elderly.

  • amelia45

    Why would nafarious purposes be supposed to apply to pro-abortion advocates and not also to anti-abortion advocates. Both sides manipulate situations to make a point.

    Truth is, the majority of people still want abortion legal. That is why the “personhood” issue was defeated in very conservative Mississippi.

    Let me say it again. The majority of people want abortion to be legal so that it remains an issue between a woman and her doctor. No one likes the fact that there have been millions of abortions – no one. But, most people also see that there is no one else to trust with making the decision of when an abortion may be justified.

    We are all confused over issues of “when” abortion should be allowable: to save the life of the mother, after rape, if some terrible genetic defect gives a child no chance to survive. The last people to make that decision are politicians and Catholic bishops – neither of which are the personal physicians of the woman when she is faced with a situation so dire and neither of which are the ones facing these terrible choices. Both are willing to risk the life and health of the woman for their own purposes. You may want to assign some high falutin reason to what bishops decide – but women will die if abortion decisions are left up to them.

    If you want to reduce the number of abortions, support widespread distribution of contraceptives and start educating young people in their importance. Every church in this country should teach BOTH abstinence and what to do when abstinence is not going to be observed. Schools should also teach BOTH.

  • Catken1

    You know, repeatedly posting about how “other people are stupid, don’t make the right decisions, and end up paying for it, so they need to be lectured at length by Superior Never-Made-A-Mistake Me,” doesn’t really do much to end stupidity, ccnl1. It just makes you a self-righteous annoyance.

  • leibowde84

    Sex is a good thing … and I am opposed to anyone in the government who wants to make it harder for me to find. Plus, men should have no say on this issue because, as men, we can pretty much leave all our responsibilities aside and run away. It’s almost impossible, physically and mentally, for women to do that. So, they should be in charge of making these decisions. Men who claim they are protecting the lives of the innocent are just liers who want more power over women.

  • kuvasz

    The authors of this excrement of an essay are f#%*ing idiots.

  • buzzcook

    It’s not about abortion. If it were the “pro-life” folks would be all for free access to healthcare for women as that has proven to reduce abortions.

    If a person says the want something not to happen, yet everything they do makes it more likely, I think it’s fair to doubt their motives.

  • rachel16

    If you feel so strongly, please, sir, don’t ever have an abortion.

  • rachel16

    Agreed, Mr. Kettle.

  • rachel16

    Thanks, Scott, for the perfect illustration of the conservative obsession with sex. Funny how conservatives never worry about the moral dimensions of poverty, injustice or lack of access to healthcare. Only the morality surrounding sexual matters is worth their time.

  • rachel16

    You know, studies have shown that between a third and half of all pregnancies end in natural miscarriage. Is God a murderer?

  • rachel16

    What is it with conservatives and sex? They never consider the moral dimensions of war or poverty, but they rend their garments over anything having to do with other people doing it. Just weird.

  • ccnl1

    Some incentives to live a healthy life style and also ways to pay for universal health care.

    1. An added two dollar health insurance tax (or higher) on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcoholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??)

    2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly ob-ese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is caused by a medical condition).

    3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving.

    4. No universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs.

    5. No universal health coverage for abortions unless the life of the mother is at significant risk and judged to be so by at least two doctors.

    6. No universal health coverage for euthanasia.

    7. No foreign aid given to countries who abort females simply because they are female.

  • ccnl1

    Some incentives to live a healthy life style and also ways to pay for universal health care.——————>>

    1. An added two dollar health insurance tax (or higher) on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcoholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??)

    2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly obese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is caused by a medical condition).

    3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving.

    4. No universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs.

    5. No universal health coverage for abortions unless the life of the mother is at significant risk and judged to be so by at least two doctors.

    6. No universal health coverage for euthanasia.

    7. No foreign aid given to countries who abort females simply because they are female.

  • cricket44

    Don’t mind Scott, Rachel. he hates women.

  • cricket44

    leibowde84 , well said. Your understanding of the situation is a shining relief next to Scott’s contempt for women and their wellbeing.

  • persiflage

    Keeping religious extremists and political revisionists out of the halls of government is a moral imperative of the first order. The male-dominated right continues to drive more and more women to a far more sympathetic democratic party.

    We continue to hear about the importance of independents regarding the upcoming election – but women may very well hold the deciding votes.

  • persiflage

    Scott, please keep your own pants on. The human gene pool is in enough trouble already………..

  • Secular1

    To all the SinVAs, & STs, let’s first agree that all scripture on this planet is a collection of fairy tales, vulgar stories. These books promote in-group nepotism, & out-group hostility, in addition to misogyny and superstition. They have not been very helpful insofar as providing any type of practical guidance in the matters of solving or working around the challenges posed by the nature to our comforts. Only thing that has given us any guidance in the more practical areas of overcoming nature has been science. In the ethical and moral realm the human zeitgeist has been our guiding light. Human zeitgeist is constantly evolving and progressing, despite the hurdles placed in its progressive march. The fact that we do not resort to that grotesque admonishment from your favorite scripture “An eye for an eye and a hand for a hand”, is a testament to the progress of zeitgeist.

    Given the above lets agree to this. Let’s scientifically determine when does a fertilized egg reach the stage in the life-cycle of development, when it can survive outside of the confines a womb. Perhaps at that point we can agree that at that point it is too late to abort. Also, you pro-lifers must also agree to provide funding for the upkeep of the child in case the mother is unwilling or unable to care for that child. Additionally you guys agree not to throw stumbling blocks against contraception. AGREED?

  • cricket44

    Hardly, since nothing I have stated indicates or even hints at a hatred of men. Nor have I lied.

    You have no rational basis for your opinions, Scott, nor are you able to argue rationally. Your posts, with their complete lack of fact and use of vitriol and hyperbole, speak for themselves.

    *shrug*

  • persiflage

    ‘No woman has a moral right to her own body…………’

    Speaking of Nazis, this point of view would do them proud. Despite all the hyperbolic bluster and religious innuendo, you can’t even count on the white republican male justices of SCOTUS to see things your way, much less the ladies on the court.

    Better give it up Scott – the days of women living only to serve the reproductive imperatives of men are over. BTW, Roe v Wade was no fluke………it reflected a sea change with regard to the law and a woman’s reproductive rights, and those days are here to stay.

  • persiflage

    ‘No woman has a moral right to her own body…………’

    Speaking of Nazis, this point of view would do them proud. Despite all the hyperbolic bluster and religious innuendo, you can’t even count on the white republican male justices of SCOTUS to see things your way, much less the ladies on the court.

    Better give it up Scott – the days of women living only to serve the reproductive imperatives of men are over. BTW, Roe v Wade was no fluke………it reflected a sea change with regard to the law and a woman’s reproductive rights, and those days are here to stay.

  • persiflage

    The numbers continue to support the pro-choice position…….which is seldom a simple black or white reality – as it often is in Scott’s world.

    Pregnant women experience a complex reality that you simply can’t imagine, my dear boy. Best to let them make the choice for themselves.

    Embryos don’t have rights – that occurs after the 3rd trimester according to the current law of the land. This is a seemingly harsh reality to many, but continues to be supported by higher courts since 1973.

  • persiflage

    ‘I can also imagine the emotional damage that murdering your own child in the womb would cause.’

    And yet, imagination is not quite the same thing as reality……..which remains subject to your own particular values
    as they apply to other people’s behavior. Every situation must be viewed independently.

    Most people don’t conflate child molesters with women who choose to terminate a pregnancy, unless they have a religious axe to grind. In fact, I’ve only heard men make this kind of specious comparison – never another woman.

    This supports my contention that men too often tend toward authoritarian ideology rather than pragmatic realism, where human affairs are concerned.

  • annpenn1

    Scott – since you are so “pro-life” I assume you have registered to donate bone marrow to human lives afflicted with leukemia and offered one kidney and part of your liver to someone who needs it to stay alive.

    If not, if you are unwilling to put your life at risk to protect the live of another person they you have no business telling any woman she must put HER life at risk for an embryo or fetus. AND I speak from personal experience here as I, my two sons, and granddaughter are alive today because my life threatening pregnancy was terminated. Please keep your laws off MY body!

  • persiflage

    ‘I wouldn’t expect a misandronist such as yourself to regard anything men have to say as important or worthy of your attention.’

    I do tend to disregard authoritarian ideologues, and in particular the religious kind – they are almost always men. Anything that smacks of moral absolutism is very likely without substance in the world of common experience, and potentially harmful to others.